Rapid Fire Feb. 4, 2013: (Some) Germans Want UCAVs
- German defense minister Thomas de Maizière confirmed that his country would seek armed UAVs. In response to earlier leaks in the press, some German politicians had voiced strong opposition to the Bundeswehr’s intent to use UCAVs, on legal and ethical grounds. De Maizière insisted that the decision to use weapons would remain under human control.
- This issue is a topic of heated debate in Germany in part because critics find the federal government lacks transparency in the way it communicates with the public about arms exports, inviting suspicion that the government is not entirely honest in such matters. The yearly report [PDF in German] issued by the Ministry for the Economy and Technology does not detail specific programs and vendors. After a record 2010, armament exports from Germany dropped to less than 1.3 billion euros, the lowest level since 2004.
- Cassidian CEO Bernhard Gerwert says he intends to grow cyber security and armed UAV sales in Europe, but would like the company to become more competitive outside of its home turf.