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Germany drops US drones in favour of manned aircraft

EPA/WOLFGANG KUMM
A Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is on display at the ILA Berlin Air Show at the airport Berlin-Schoenefeld, Germany, 12 September 2012. ILA takes place between 11 and 16 September 2012. According to organizers 1,243 exhibitors from 46 nations mark a record attendance. More than 200,000 visitors are expected.

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The German government announced it has canceled plans to buy US-made Triton drones to the tune of $2.5 billion, and it has instead decided to buy manned Bombardier jets.
The country’s defense ministry explained that the existing plan wouldn’t be able to meet the safety standards needed for flying through European airspace by 2025, as called for by NATO.
A ministry spokesman said it was concluded that the Triton drones would be more expensive than expected, and the government eventually decided to use manned planes carrying eavesdropping sensors.
“We remain confident Northrop Grumman’s high-altitude, long-endurance intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, built on the legacy of the proven RQ-4 Global Hawk platform, offer our customers the best option for persistent ISR capability, and we will continue to work to meet their requirements”, said a spokesperson for Northrop Grumman, manufacturer of the Triton drones.

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