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German Coalition Agrees on $166 Million Budget to Arm Drones

  • Lawmakers approve ministry request, attaches conditions
  • Drone decision part of shift in policy on military spending
A Heron drone.
A Heron drone.Source: IAI
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Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s ruling coalition sealed a deal to arm German drones, approving a defense ministry request to purchase ammunition worth 152 million euros ($166 million) from Israel’s state-run Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.

The decision to arm the Israeli-made Heron-TP drones, leased by the German military, is part of a wider shift in Berlin’s defense policy triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Scholz in late February announced the creation of a debt-financed special fund worth 100 billion euros to modernize the Bundeswehr armed forces and meet NATO’s annual defense spending goal of 2% of economic output each year.