Airbus fires 16 over suspected German army spying: report

European aviation giant Airbus has fired 16 employees over an investigation into suspected industrial espionage.

News agency dpa said Sunday Airbus had confirmed the sacking of the 16 individuals, but did not provide further details.

Sources at the company said in September that German prosecutors were investigating suspected internal spying by Airbus employees over two arms projects with the German armed forces.

According to German media reports, the Airbus employees had obtained secret files of the German army involving the acquisition of a communication system, among other subjects.

“Some of our employees had documents that they shouldn’t have had,” a source said at the time.

The employees work in the Munich-based Program Line Communications, Intelligence and Security (CIS), which handles cybersecurity and related activities.

Airbus said it was conducting an “ongoing internal review with the support of an external law firm” in the case.

“The company is fully cooperating with relevant authorities to resolve the matter,” it said in a statement at the time.


  • Chinese soldiers train for epidemic in Bavaria

    Special delivery

    This Chinese armored medical evacuation vehicle arrived by ship at the port in Hamburg, before being shipped to southern Germany and the Bavarian town of Feldkirchen. A total of 92 Chinese and 120 German soldiers are taking part in the Combined Aid 2019 exercise, along with 120 men and women in supporting roles.

  • Chinese soldiers train for epidemic in Bavaria

    No ordinary exercise

    The armored medical evacuation vehicle and other Chinese army supplies were brought here to Feldkirchen, where the exercise is taking place until July 17. It’s the first of its kind in Germany in the history of German-Chinese military cooperation. In 2016, 38 Bundeswehr medical orderlies took part in a previous exercise in China.

  • Chinese soldiers train for epidemic in Bavaria

    Folding hospital

    The exercise is simulating a fictitious UN deployment. The scenario: Cholera has broken out in several refugee camps, and there are many wounded people elsewhere. The Chinese soldiers brought their own mobile hospital along with them for the exercise. It can be pulled out and folded up like an accordion.

  • Chinese soldiers train for epidemic in Bavaria

    Ready in no time

    “It’s impressive how fast the mobile equipment from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army can be set up,” said a Bundeswehr report. “The modern Chinese tents are up and ready within a few minutes, and the medical equipment is put in place just as quickly.”

  • Chinese soldiers train for epidemic in Bavaria

    Medical training

    In the 2016 joint exercise, training focused on treating and providing for earthquake victims. China has plenty of experience in this area. Following earthquake disasters in 2008, 2010 and 2012, it had to take care of between 40,000 and 50,000 injured people each time. The 2019 exercise only involves medical staff, but it’s being seen as a first step toward limited military cooperation.

  • Chinese soldiers train for epidemic in Bavaria

    Tricky translation

    During the joint exercise, participants either speak English, or use an interpreter. The German army has said the exercise is helping to establish international cooperation, in preparation for a possible cross-border outbreak of disease.

  • Chinese soldiers train for epidemic in Bavaria

    Strong together

    The exercise “is also extremely relevant with regard to non-military disease prevention, as there is an international duty to protect the population against epidemics and pandemics,” said the Bundeswehr. There’s even a joint logo for Combined Aid 2019, incorporating the German and Chinese flags.

    Author: Marco Müller

law/cmk (AFP, dpa)

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