Germany, Saudi close to $132m military deal

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(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Saudi Arabia is in talks with Germany to buy 30 reconnaissance Dingo vehicles for $132m, Bild am Sonntag newspaper has reported.

The kingdom is interested in buying as many as 100 Dingo vehicles manufactured by Krauss Maffei-Wegmann and Bruker Daltonik from Leipzig, the newspaper said, citing an unidentified source involved the negotiations.

The negotiations with the Saudi Ministry of Defence are near completion, the news paper reported, adding that soldiers from the kingdom would be trained as part of the deal.

Germany's Federal Security Council, which includes Chancellor Angela Merkel and the eight ministers must give the final approval once the deal is completed, Bild am Sonntag said.

The vehicle combines a high-performance radar system with the protection and mobility characteristics, according to its manufacturer, which guarantees direct crew protection from blasts and ballistic threats through this safety cell.

A mine-proof seat system prevents the transfer of explosion energy to crew members. The vehicle also protects occupants from the secondary effects of mines and IED blasts.

More than 800 vehicles are under contract with five different nations, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Lebanon, Chad and Afghanistan.

The tactical spectrum of the DINGO 2 family includes: Patrol and security missions, armoured ambulance, reconnaissance missions, surveillance and support missions, transport operations, deployment and evacuation support, combat damage repair, and nuclear-biological-chemical (NBC) detection missions.

Earlier this month, Der Spiegel magazine reported Saudia Arabia wanted to buy several hundred BOXER armoured fighting vehicles, another type of armoured vehicle made by Artec, a joint-venture of Rheinmettal Defence and Kraus-Maffei Wegmann.

The magazine suggested the vehicles could be used in confroting possible demonstrations. According to other unconfirmed media reports, Germany gave pre-approval for the export of 270 Leopard 2 tanks to Saudi Arabia in 2011.

Germany has refrained from exporting heavy weapons to Gulf states in the past because of its relationship with Israel and more recently because of the Arab Spring revolts.

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