BERLIN --- Germany is close to finalizing a deal that will see the country buy its first weapons-capable drone aircraft — an Israeli designed model — from European aerospace giant Airbus, according to a government response to lawmakers.
The deal, worth nearly 900 million euros ($1108.53 million) including training and maintenance costs, has been politically contentious because of fears that having combat drones might make Germany more likely to participate in offensive military action abroad.
“At the moment the aim is for Parliament to consider (the deal) and for the subsequent signing of the contract to occur soon, before the current binding offer expires,” Germany’s defense ministry said in a written response to questions from the opposition Left party.
The terms of the offer are binding until May 31, meaning Parliament would have to approve the agreement in the coming weeks. (end of excerpt)
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