March 26
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The German media report that the government wants to use the Heron UAVs it leases from Israel Aerospace Industries to defend against potential Russian attacks on critical infrastructures, Globes reported.

Israeli-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which the Germany government has leased in a long-term deal could soon be deployed by the German military to oversee the country's critical energy infrastructures and monitor movements of the Russian naval fleet, the German media reported over the past few days. 

The Germans leased five Heron-TP UAVs, together with two training UAVs, in 2016 in a deal worth nearly €1 billion. The deal has been expanded over the past two years. Since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war, the German parliament has decided to let the UAVs be armed with Israeli-made missiles, and begin German Army missions beyond Europe's borders at an initial cost of €140 million. Over the past two years dozens of German Air Force pilots have been training at the Israel Air4 Force base in Tel Nof in how to operate the UAVs, as part of the overall deal signed with the Israeli government and Israel Aerospace Industries.

Now, due to the escalating security situation in Europe, there are resolute calls to convert use of the UAVs so that they can oversee Germany's critical energy infrastructures. 
German Member of Parliament Johannes Arlt from the Social Democratic Party (SPD), a member of the government coalition, last week proposed to use the leased UAVs to protect German natural gas and energy infrastructures. German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, also from the SDP, called for a significant increase in infrastructures’ protection.
Use of UAVs is currently not permitted in German airspace. However, the "Deutsche Zeitung" cited the Ministry of the Interior which recently reported that the Israeli-made drones will soon move to an activity base in their parent squadron, at the Buchel Air Force base where they will perform "trial flights."

The EU is trying to produce its own armed UAVs called the "Eurodrone" and leasing UAVs from Israel and arming them with missiles is considered an "interim solution."
Germany officially announced last month that it plans procuring the "Arrow 3" system from Israel, subject to US approval, in a deal that will cost an estimated €3 billion and will protect Germany and other countries from ballistic missiles.


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