HARDTHÖHE, Germany, 28 May 2013. German Defense Minister Thomas de Maziere announced the cancellation of the German Ministry of Defence’s order of five Northrop Grumman RQ-4E Euro Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
German Ministry of Defence officials planned to adopt a fleet of Euro Hawk aircraft to perform high-altitude signals intelligence (SigInt) collection and to replace aging Atlantic manned twin turboprops.
EADS Cassidian was providing the SigInt sensors and ground stations for the Euro Hawk, a European version of the Global Hawk Block 20 UAV.
German Defense Minister de Maziere is expected to reveal the reason(s) for the order cancellation next month.
German media outlets advise that the country has already spent €508 million of the estimated €1.2 billion order, based on 2012 prices, and additional and considerable investment, beyond the cost of the fleet, is needed to gain certification and integration into public airspace. Certification costs could reach €500 million, sources speculate.