Re: What's Trump Done Now?Feb 1st, 2020
"COLOGNE, Germany — The German government has canceled plans to buy Northrop Grumman-made Triton drones to the tune of $2.5 billion, opting instead for manned planes carrying eavesdropping sensors.
The decision to buy Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft comes after officials became convinced that the Global Hawk derivatives would be unable to meet the safety standards needed for flying through European airspace by 2025, a target date for Berlin’s NATO obligations.
A defense ministry spokeswoman told Defense News the Triton option had grown “significantly more expensive” compared with earlier planning assumptions.
The U.S. State Department in April 2018 cleared Germany’s request to purchase four MQ-4C Triton drones for signals intelligence missions under the country’s PEGASUS program, short for “Persistent German Airborne Surveillance System.” The program includes a sensor, dubbed “ISIS-ZB” and made by Hensoldt, for intercepting communications and locating targets by their electromagnetic signature.
The German Defence Ministry for years had been banking on the Triton purchase to come with a pre-installed safety-technology package that would be easily approved by European air traffic authorities. But officials saw their hopes dashed as Italy recently issued a military-type certificate for a sister drone — NATO’s Alliance Ground Surveillance fleet of Global Hawks, stationed in Sigonella, Sicily — that prescribes tight restrictions on flights over the continent."