Germany’s Euro Hawk drone scandal showed no sign of ending on Wednesday, with alternatives for the failed programme running €200 million over budget. It means the military may turn back to the discarded, original plan.
The Chief of Staff of the Bundeswehr, Volker Wieker, told a defence committee on Wednesday that the tests on four alternatives to Euro Hawk were not only taking longer than expected but were €200 million over budget. The budget had been set at €613 million.
It means that reactivating the discarded Euro Hawk program could no longer be ruled out, he said.
The Euro Hawk scandal erupted in May last year when it emerged the drones were unlikely to get permission to fly in German airspace because of a lack of an anti-collision system to protect other aircraft. By that point more than €500 million had already been spent on the program.
The then defence minister, Thomas de Maizière, stopped the Euro Hawk project in May 2013, but the problems continue for the country’s new defence minister Ursula von der Leyen.
The scandal has already cost the tax payer €600 million. It is still unclear whether an alternative can be found with the four other options to Euro Hawk all deemed too expensive.