June 27, 2017, Reuters.
Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) will block the leasing of drones that can carry weapons by rejecting the plan in the budget committee, the head of the parliamentary party Thomas Oppermann said on Tuesday.
The procurement of the Israeli drones, favoured by the military because they are compatible with models they already own, has been a matter of contention between the parties in the ruling coalition government.
The Social Democrats, junior partner in conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel’s right-left coalition, have reservations about leasing Heron TP drones from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) which can be armed and used to protect soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Mali.
However, Oppermann said his party supported the procurement of reconnaissance drones. (Reporting by Holger Hansen; Writing by Madeline Chambers)