Classified footage of an out-of-control drone narrowly missing an Afghan passenger plane carrying 100 people has caused outrage in Germany.
The video, filmed from onboard the unmanned German Luna drone as it flew over Afghanistan, shows it missing the plane by about two metres.
It has caused fury in Germany as debate rages about the Government’s new order of drones.
Classified footage shows how the 88lb drone came to hitting the plane, risking the lives of its 100 passengers
The plane is just visible in the distance from the drone’s onboard camera as it flies over Kabul
Last week German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Luna’s successor would not be fitted with anti-collision technology because it is too expensive.
Critics have seized on the dramatic footage taken nine years ago as proof of the dangers of unmanned drones and called for de Maiziere to reconsider.
They say larger drones should be fitted with the technology as it could cause more damage if it crashed.
Since then the footage has gained widespread attention, despite being nine years old.
The 88lb German ‘Luna’ drone was caught in air turbulence created by the Ariana passenger plane, before losing control and crash landing near the Afghan capital, Kabul.
The video shows the plane in the distance before it swiftly moves into shot.
The drone passes under the left wing of the engine.
The German Luna drone flies towards the Ariana passenger plane, carrying 100 people
The video was posted on YouTube despite it being strictly classified.
Wreckage from the crash in 2004 was never recovered.
German magazine Der Spiegel believe that the drone flew less than two metres away from the Airbus A300, putting 100 lives at risk.
However, Germany is still going ahead with the purchase of a possible 16 armed aircraft for military use from 2016.
The country has held talks with Israel over the Heron TO unmanned aerial vehicle and with the U.S. over the Reaper aircraft.
A defence ministry spokesman said that he did not foresee combat-ready drones being deployed over Germany, for example in anti-terrorism operations.
A Government spokesman told AFP: ‘The intention is that we acquire 16 such devices in future and that the armed forces have them at their disposal from 2016, three years from now.’
The Euro Hawk (pictured) was scrapped by the German defence minister over spiralling costs
German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere standing next to a model of the Euro Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle is facing mounting pressure after scrapping the 500m Euro project
It comes as Defence Minister de Maiziere fights for his political career after abandoning a multi-million euro drone programme.
Mr de Maiziere scrapped the ‘Euro Hawk’ surveillance drone project two weeks ago blaming spiralling costs.
It had already cost €508 million (£432million) before Mr de Maiziere said on May 14 that he would ‘pull the ripcord’ on the plan to buy four more of the unmanned surveillance aircraft.
He feared aviation authorities in Europe would not certify the controversial aircraft to fly over the continent because it lacks the anti-collision system.
But he is under mounting pressure amid accusations at home that he already knew about possible problems with the anti-collision system but continued to plough money into the project.
The Defence Minister is now expected to present a report to the German media on the so-called ‘drone debacle’.
Drones are controversial in Germany, both because of battlefield ‘collateral damage’, or civilian deaths, and because of their spying capabilities, which evoke dark memories from past fascist and communist regimes.
The Ariana airline (similar to the one pictured) was carrying 100 passengers when it narrowly missed the drone