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German Minister under fire over scrapped drone project

Germany’s Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere has come under fire over scrapping of a prestigious drone project after investing around USD 835 million dollars to build a prototype of the unmanned reconnaissance aircraft.
 
Germany cancelled plans to purchase and modify US-made Global Hawk surveillance drones because it believed that European authorities will not certify them to fly in civilian airspace. The opposition Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Green party have charged that de Maiziere knew long before that the ‘Euro Hawk’ will not get the flight permission for the European airspace, but withheld that information from the parliamentary defence committee until last week.
 
He was also aware of the technical problems, which made the drone highly risky for civil aviation, but allowed the project to continue, SPD and Green politicians claimed.

The defence ministry is also facing allegations that it had denied the Federal Accounting Office access to vital documents on the ‘Euro Hawk’ project. The accounting office, which has been auditing the project since the beginning of last year, was not given all the documents it had asked for and in some cases documents were given only after making passages unreadable.
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