German government against the production of Fuchs 6x6 armoured vehicle in Egypt 0106135

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Defence & Security News - Germany

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Saturday, June 1, 2013 11:46 AM
 
German government against the production of Fuchs 6x6 armoured vehicle in Egypt.
The German government is again under scrutiny for selling weapons to Middle Eastern states under Chancellor Angela Merkel's controversial easing of once-stringent controls. This time it is Fuchs armored cars produced in Egypt under license that critics allege were used against pro-democracy protesters.
     
     

At the same time, the German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung of Munich reported Monday that the country's weapons manufacturers last year notched the highest sales since official record-keeping began in the 1990s.

Approved exports of small arms -- machine guns, automatic rifles and pistols -- and components in 2012 totaled $98.5 million, nearly double that of 2011, the newspaper reported, citing Economy Ministry figures.

These included $8.41 million in exports to Saudi Arabia, encompassing more than half the sales to the Middle East and North Africa in that period.

Despite Merkel's drive to boost German military exports, to counter the cutbacks in defense spending be Germany and other European states, German policy still stipulates that arms can only be sold to states that don't use violence against their own people, invade other countries or provide weapons to aggressive regimes.

     
     
So far the Economy Ministry has largely stonewalled John's demands for details of arms exports. But in response to parliamentary requests, Berlin has disclosed that in 2004-12 German firms delivered components of the Fahd APC to Egypt where it was built under license.

The Fahd is modeled on the TH-390 APC designed by Thyssen-Henschel, a German defense contractor that was taken over by the giant Rheinmetall of Dusseldorf in 2000.

The deliveries included Daimler diesel engines, chassis and other parts worth $170 million, including shipments valued at $71 million in 2011, the year Mubarak was driven from power.

What's infuriating critics even more, observed the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, is that of the 1,300 vehicles produced under license in Egypt, "an unknown number landed in countries ravaged by civil war, such as Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

     
     
Germany has expanded arms sales across the Middle East with a $2.5 billion deal to sell the Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar advanced Leopard 2A7+ tanks and 24 PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers.

The weapons systems are built by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall. Berlin's also negotiating to sell 270 Leopards to Saudi Arabia, warships and submarines to Egypt.

The United Arab Emirates, a military heavyweight in the Persian Gulf, has bought German weapons systems worth $1.57 billion.

Algeria's now one of Merkel's "strategic partners" -- "to serve as a buffer against Islamist rebels raging in Mali," says Der Spiegel -- and Rheinmetall's building a factory there to produce 1,200 German Fuchs armored vehicles.

     
 

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