A spokesman for the northrop grumman company denied in the weekly newspaper "die zeit" the claim that not all construction plans had been delivered to germany. She also said that berlin’s concerns about collision protection and possible cost increases were incomprehensible.
The opposition continues to put pressure on head of department thomas de maiziere (CDU). The european aviation safety authority eurocontrol demanded uniform standards for the use of unmanned aircraft in the eu.
"Euro hawk" is the european version of the u.S. "Global hawk" drone from the northrop grumman company. De maiziere had halted the "euro-hawk" project, which has already cost more than half a billion euros, because of problems with certification for european airspace. One reason was, among others, that no sufficient collision protection could be proven. The defense department complained that the manufacturer had not provided the necessary documents for certification in sufficient form.
Those parts for which there were no documents had had to be manufactured by the company itself. But this had caused enormous costs.
Northrop grumman’s spokesman, however, said the contractor had never given clear instructions on what documents were needed for certification and approval in europe. Regarding collision protection, he said that a drone model had been delivered to germany for test operations without such a system. However, such a system had indeed been planned for the other drones ordered. It would be a component of all models of the "hawk" family. He could not understand why the government was suddenly claiming a huge increase in costs.
According to its own statements, the US company knew nothing about the end of the project. According to the newspaper "zeit", business circles were very surprised by the decision from berlin.
According to the opposition, the debacle was a long time coming. The defense ministry said it knew about the problems as early as the end of 2011. SPD, left-wing and green parties now demand clarification of why the ministry did not stop the project earlier.
The ministry is not commenting on any of this at the moment, and is focusing on the 5. June. Then de maiziere will report to the defense committee.
In the "neue westfalische" newspaper, grunen faction leader jurgen trittin warned that the minister should not wait until the 5th of july for the declaration. June wait. Left-wing faction leader gregor gysi also demanded clarifications from de maiziere – immediately and not in two weeks’ time. SPD secretary general andrea nahles told the SPD newspaper "vorwarts" that she had many questions for the ministry and accused it of "covering up its own mistakes".
The european aviation safety authority eurocontrol said that both the "global hawk" and the "euro hawk" have electronic collision avoidance systems: "but they have not yet been approved by civilian authorities," director luc tytgat told the dpa news agency in brussel. Eurocontrol wants these systems to be tested according to standards that are also prescribed for civil aviation. At present, each country is able to authorize unmanned aerial vehicles according to its own regulations and to allow them to fly in national military airspace. It is important, however, to quickly create cross-border european standards.