Germany is in talks with Israel to buy weaponized drones for its military that are seen as more technologically advanced than US-made ones, the weekly Der Spiegel reported. The news magazine's Monday edition said the German defense ministry had already held two meetings with Israeli military officials, in November 2012 and February 2013, on the proposed purchase.
The chief of Germany's air force, Lieutenant General Karl Muellner, was said to have recently gone to Israel to attend a presentation of Israel's Heron TP drone, Der Spiegel said.
Berlin was believed to favor the Heron over the US-made Predator drones because it was seen as more cutting-edge, the magazine said.
Germany's defense minister, Thomas de Maiziere, in February called for combat drones to be incorporated into the air force, saying their lack created a disadvantage. At the time, he made no mention about which drones Germany would be interested in, AFP reported.
But Germany had expressed an interest in jointly developing drone technology with France, to avoid becoming dependent on US or Israeli drones, the magazine said.