AUVSI: Germany to lease Israeli unmanned aircraft systems, GA-ASI says

Washington DC
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Germany's military has rejected a proposal to buy Predator B unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI), the company's top executive says.

The Federal Ministry of Defence considered both the Predator B and two UAS made by Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) - the Heron TP and the Heron -- but has apparently rejected the proposal by GA-ASI.

"Germany is going a different path," says GA-ASI chief executive officer Thomas Cassidy. "They are looking at leasing from an Israeli company. Whether or not that continues or not I don't know. We have Predator Bs available if they want to switch to Predator Bs."

The Predator B is also known as the MQ-9 Reaper with the US Air Force and several international customers.

Cassidy's remarks come one year after the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress that Germany had requested the sale of five MQ-9s worth $205 million. That contract never materialized, and Germany considered both the Predator B and IAI-built aircraft for the deal.

IAI North America CEO Uzzi Rozzen could not confirm that either the Heron or Heron TP had been selected by the German military. Rozzen, however, notes that IAI and German officials are currently involved in sensitive negotiations. But a deal has not been completed, he adds.