May 23, 2014
Airbus seeks deal to supply Germany with Israel drones
Airbus signed a deal on Wednesday with Israel Aerospace Industries to team up on a bid for a bridging contract to supply the German armed forces with military drones until 2020.
The armed forces currently use an IAI Heron 1, which is made by the Israeli firm and operated by Airbus Defence & Space. However, Germany's contract with the two companies is due to expire in 2015.
Airbus Defence & Space said on Wednesday it had struck a deal with Israel Aerospace Industries to make an offer to supply Germany with an upgraded drone, the Heron TP, after 2015 to allow the country to keep its surveillance capabilities until the arrival of a European drone.
The German government would have the choice of either a purchase option or a lease for the system, Airbus said.
European aerospace companies on Monday put forward proposals for a medium-altitude long endurance (MALE) drone program that would have to be agreed by governments in the region, before potential production for 2020.