24.12.2019

Germany rejects armed UAS

Applications for “Combat Drones” for the Bundeswehr Rejected – link

Source: Defense Aerospace

Article Headlines

  • The Bundestag rejected, by roll vote by 526 votes to 69, with two abstentions, a motion submitted by the FDP parliamentary group entitled “Strengthening the protection of Bundeswehr soldiers by procuring armed drones”
  • As part of the mandate of the Bundeswehr’s missions abroad, the rules and requirements for the use of drones are to be formulated in full, taking into account the rule of domestic and international law
  • The basic principle must be that any use of unmanned systems is subject to human control, and that so-called “targeted killings” are not compatible with the basic law and are not carried out
  • The Left requests the German government not to implement the armament capability of the Heron TP, i.e. not to buy, lease, test or use any armament for the Heron TP
  • Nor should Germany procure or lease any armed drones. The faction wants to terminate the services contract with Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) for the use of the Heron TP combat drone
  • In addition, the development and procurement of the EuroMALE should be stopped and the money intended for it should be used for civilian purposes

Overview & Comments

  • There is anti-armed UAS resolutions / opinions worldwide and not only in Germany
  • The general notion of UAVs being “armed robots” shooting at their will or the operators being “not actually in the fight” couldn’t be farther from the actual operation method
  • UAS Operators, though physically far from the area of operations, are mentally closer to the scene much more than other manned ISR / aerial attack assets
  • The mission picture / situational awareness of the events on scene are mostly much clearer to the UAS crews as opposed to other assets that are kept further away
  • The ability to directly communicate in real time with the relevant ground, sea & aerial forces eliminates the “disadvantage” of physically sitting in a GCS far away
  • The fact that the crews are not in personal danger allow them to take much more thoughtful, careful & calculated decisions
  • Worldwide, UAVs use the same high precise armaments as other aerial strike platforms with a human always making the strike call
  • More so, UAVs are to be fitted with even smaller pin-point munitions, such as the Hatchet, thus reducing even more any collateral damage
  • The political decision in Germany is highly contrary to German crews who operated in theater stating that when they encountered direct threats to German ground forces they did not have the ability to immediately support them, thus relying on other assets that couldn’t always assist in real time

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