Germany Approves €1 Billion Deal to Lease Israeli Drones

Despite small protests outside Germany’s Bundestag, the German parliament approved a €1 billion deal for leasing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). These UAVs  are capable of carrying payloads of weapons. For Germany, this is important  and carrying out attack missions in the German army’s theaters of operation in Mali and Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said the following concerning the deal:

“I am very pleased by the decision of the German parliament yesterday to approve the giant deal to lease Israeli UAVs. This is an incredible deal that has implications, first of all, for our security industries and for the Israeli economy, but also for the continued strengthening of security relations between Israel and Germany. Germany helps Israel with security, and Israel also helps Germany. This is a very important development and I would like to personally thank Chancellor Merkel. I spoke with her about this ten days ago. She told me that she would pass it through the parliament and she did so.”

Why is this deal important?

Simply put, it cements Israel as the preeminent military drone developer.  Not only that, it provides Israel with a huge win in a country that originally saw this deal nearly torpedoed by the German Social Democratic Party (SDP). While Western Europe has increasingly been confrontational with Israel at the UN, its continuous diplomatic antagonism appears empty as countries like Germany realize that only Israel can provide the type of technology it needs.

According to Globes the deal includes:  €720 million payment to the Airbus Defense and Space company, which will lease seven UAVs from IAI (five regular UAVs and two for training) and €177 million to the Israeli government for use of airports, command and control facilities, and support and maintenance services.

Essentially Germany will have its first permanent presence in Israel.

IAI Helps India Get a Foot Up on Its Defense Network

IAI had another successful trip to India this week, as a major deal between the Indian Ministry of Defense and this leading developer and producer of defense systems and technologies was signed at the Defexpo 2016. The conference was held last week in Goa, India, and IAI president Joseph Weiss flew in to sit with heads of many of the major defense and security companies within India.

Signed, Sealed & Delivered

The upshot of all these meetings was outstanding success for both sides, as a number of deals amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars were signed. The Indian defense organizations were interested in several technologies including the air defense systems, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), and radar systems, all of which are going to provide India with a stronger line of defense than ever before.

As Weiss himself said, “India has unique operational requirements, and IAI is dedicating its best talents, technologies and capabilities to meet those challenges. We will continue our long-term, strategic partnership with India, meet our customers’ expectations and implement the ‘Make in India’ policy led by India’s Prime Minister.”

IAI in Action

IAI is an aerospace and defense company based in Israel. It is the largest government run organization, and it supplies advanced systems including satellites, space systems, robotics, cyber solutions, electronic intelligence, and command and strategic control systems, as well as more germane systems such as their passenger to freighter conversion systems.

Of course, this is not the first time IAI has signed a deal with the Indian Ministry of Defense. The prominent defense company has been supplying defense technology to India and several other governments for over a quarter of a century, with joint ventures, subcontracts, and cooperation agreements spanning the globe. The Israeli company has worked closely with India in particular, offering their important services and innovations to several branches of the Indian defense forces including coast guard, navy, air force, and border control.

The Future of Defense

The expo was a valuable opportunity for IAI to display some of their latest innovations, many of which have already been successfully demonstrated within India and have won the interest of the Indian Ministry of Defense. Some of the exciting developments included newly engineered IEDs (improvised explosive devices) that can be detonated in non conventional ways and an early warning system driven via radar sensors that are invaluable for signalling against mortar attacks.

India and Israel will continue their research and development together to provide the most productive and solid defense systems available.