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Spain's defence minister: 'Drones are the future'

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Spain's defence minister: 'Drones are the future'
The minister claimed that Spain's air force "must definitely be thinking about" using drone aircraft like this one. Photo: PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP
13:00 CEST+02:00
Spanish Defence minister Pedro Morenés has laid out plans for new arms programmes that will include unmanned drone aircraft despite the Armed Forces' €29.5 billion ($32.5 billion) debt .

The minister revealed his ideas in an interview last week about the future of Spain's armed forces.

He admitted that any plans to build the controversial remote-controlled Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), more commonly known as drones, would "depend on how the current programmes went".

According to Spanish daily Te Interesa, Morenés believes that contracts would first have to be renegotiated with weapons manufacturers in order to bring down costs.

"But I would like to think that from 2015 we could have at least one new programme in each Armed Force."

The army was said to require "a new wheeled vehicle" while the navy "needs to improve its frigates, among other things."

For the air force, however, he stipulated that it "absolutely must be thinking of unmanned aircraft."

"They are, without a doubt, the future."

Moranés emphasized that the debt of the current programmes, some €29.5 billion ($32.5 Billion), to be paid by 2030, "did not substantially damage way the natural evolution of the Armed Forces."

Despite this, he underlined that the Government had made "a notable effort" to tackle the "accumulated debts of the arms programmes".

When asked about Spain's infamous S80 "sinking submarine" whose development has been dogged with problems, Moranés said, "We have an investment ceiling for the submarines that isn't going to change so in principle what it will cost us is time."

"There has been a problem, they've detected the causes and fortunately we know how to fix them," he added.

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