In a few months, the German military will receive five Heron TP UAVs, produced by the Israeli defense company Israel Aerospace Industries. Basically, this aircraft is capable of performing reconnaissance functions., but there is also the option to equip it with air-to-ground missiles.
Deutsche Welle reporters report, that a number of German politicians are categorically against equipping UAVs with lethal weapons.
This was a complete surprise for the German Ministry of Defense, after all, they were already preparing urgently to equip the purchased drones with missiles to destroy ground targets. Suddenly, representatives of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) refused to support this decision. They think, that it should be thoroughly discussed beforehand.
There is only a fine line between protecting the lives of our soldiers and being able to destroy them with a joystick.
– SPD Co-Chairman Norbert Walter-Boryans shared his doubts.
MPs consider, that such "automation" can remove the last deterrent psychological barriers from combatants. Gabriela Heinrich, deputy chairman of the SPD faction in the Bundestag, said, that the impetus for such a decision was the active participation of attack drones in the last Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. In this way, war in Karabakh deprives the German army of combat drones.
Another argument of opponents of arming UAVs with lethal weapons is that, that if the Bundeswehr has such weapons, NATO allies will increase pressure on the FRG, demanding participation in more dangerous foreign missions. Now the German military is limiting its presence in joint operations of the North Atlantic bloc to instructors, observers and technical staff.
The Israeli Heron TP multipurpose unmanned aerial vehicle is equipped with turboprop engines and is larger than its predecessors.. He is able to continuously stay in the air for more 30 hours.