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German MALE decision expected in December

Germany's Ministry of Defence is to select a contractor for its medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned air vehicle in December with the winning manufacturer being awarded an initial $95 million contract.

The two final contenders are the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron-TP and the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems' Predator B. The selected system will be operated by German units in Afghanistan.

The planned December selection is needed to achieve an initial operating capability of the selected system in 2010. The German request for proposal is based on the supply of five MALE UAVs.

The selected MALE UAV will be operated in parallel with five Northrop Grumman/EADS EuroHawk high altitude long endurance vehicles that have already been ordered.

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