Germany's Hensoldt plans defence deals with Gulf states - Spiegel

BERLIN (Reuters) -German defence supplier Hensoldt has applied to the government for clearance for a number of politically sensitive projects with Gulf states, the Spiegel news magazine reported on Friday.

Hensoldt, in which the government owns a 25.1% stake, wants to supply components to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the Cobra artillery tracking system, the report said, citing an internal company presentation.

The company expects to get approval for this, it said.

A Hensoldt spokesperson would not comment on current projects when asked by Reuters and said the company had not done anything illegal. No industry is more strictly regulated than the arms industry, the spokesperson said.

The German economy ministry declined to comment on individual cases involving companies. It said the German government "cannot intervene in operational business decisions" of Hensoldt due to its minority shareholding.

The German government is also considering a request from Hensoldt regarding radars for warships that the United States would supply to Saudi Arabia, Spiegel reported.

Saudi Arabia is among the German arms industry top buyers, despite the coalition of Chancellor Olaf Scholz having vowed to refuse arms export permits to countries proven to be directly involved in the Yemen war. The UAE is a member of a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen since 2015.

(Reporting by Rachel More and Christina Amann; additional writing by Tom SimsEditing by Miranda Murray and Angus MacSwan)