Debate called for: Military expert Carlo Masala urges the concept of drones for Germany – and pleads for cooperation with Turkey.
Munich – With a special fund of 100 billion euros, Germany wants to arm the Bundeswehr and ensure the "strengthening of alliance and defense capability." But from the point of view of a military expert, one topic is far too short: drones.
Especially with regard to the NATO exercise "Air Defender 2023", Carlo Masala, professor at the Bundeswehr University, sees an urgent need for action: "It is totally absurd that we do not discuss drones," Masala told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. "It is completely incomprehensible to me. We need to invest a lot more in drones." In addition to the Ukraine war, the recent conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia has also shown how important drones can be today in the course of the war.
Military expert Masala: Germany should buy drones from Turkey
Germany should not only rely on expensive new developments and large drones such as Heron TP, says Masala. Even small drones, which cost only a few thousand euros, would have to play a role in the future. One of Masala's proposals to Germany is to buy Bayraktar drones from Turkey, which are also used by the Ukrainian army. This is "also a lever to improve german-Turkish relations." The war in Ukraine shows "that the whole range is being used". From reconnaissance to armed drones, the Bundeswehr needs everything it can procure. According to Masala, the pressure to go on the offensive when buying drones is growing.
A Heron TP drone. Military expert Carlo Masala calls for discussions about more drones for the Bundeswehr. (Symbolic photo) © Amir Cohen/dpa
From June 12 to 23, the NATO maneuver "Air Defender 2023" will take place, mainly over German airspace. The purpose of the exercise is to simulate a raid by an eastern military alliance. About 10,000 soldiers and 250 aircraft are involved in the exercise, almost 60 machines come from Germany. But this is more about classic air warfare. According to military experts, one of the most important lessons from the war is how dangerous drones and artificial intelligence can be in warfare. In turn, modern and comprehensive air defense and anti-aircraft defense is also playing an increasingly important role. According to the SZ, Bundeswehr circles also see major deficits in the area of drones.
Deficiencies in drones? Experts see a need for action in the Bundeswehr
German equipment in particular would help Ukraine with drone defense. Above all, the Gepard anti-aircraft gun tank is effective at shooting down drones. And the "Iris-T SLM" air defense system is providing decisive help in protecting cities like Kyiv from Russian attacks. Despite all this and the new danger posed by Russia, the issue plays only a subordinate role in the rearmament of the Bundeswehr and in the upcoming NATO exercise. (LRG/AFP)