The Ministry of the Armed Forces wants to acquire drones capable of neutralizing targets during high-intensity conflicts. Two calls for projects have been launched with the Defense Innovation Agency and the DGA.
Long singled out for its delay in combat drones, France wants to catch up. The Defense Innovation Agency of the Ministry of the Armed Forces and the General Directorate of Armaments (DGA) will present on May 25 in Paris two calls for projects to acquire drones equipped with “active operational loads” capable of “neutralizing targets”.
Clearly, it is actually civilian drones equipped with bombs to destroy vehicles at a distance. Despite this lethal ability, AID gave them bird names: Larinae and Colibri.
On its website, the AID provides details on these munitions that can be operated remotely. Larinae must be able to neutralize an armored vehicle with “metric targeting precision” at a distance of more than 50 km and offer a range of 60 minutes for a cost “less than 200,000 euros”.
Colibri will have to be as effective in its destructive capabilities but with a range reduced to 5 km with an autonomy of 30 minutes. And this for a cost of 20,000 euros.
High Intensity Conflicts
Deadlines are short. The files must be sent by email no later than July 6 before midnight. The markets should start in December for a period of 18 months and the demonstrators should be ready by the end of 2023.
At the beginning of the year, the Ministry of the Armed Forces announced the signing of a 6 million euro contract for the purchase of several hundred drones from the French company Flying Eye. This contract aims to train the armed forces to fight against attacks by civilian drones equipped with explosives or used for intelligence purposes by enemy troops.
But the war in Ukraine which started on February 24 has apparently served as a detonator in the desire to increase the use of drones in high-intensity conflicts. kyiv uses many models. Switchblade kamikaze drones are supplied by the United States and considered as smart bombs. Its price would be around 100,000 dollars.
There is also the Turkish drone Bayraktar TB2 which has become both a symbol of Ukrainian resistance and success for the Turkish arms industry. Between the 1st quarter of 2021 and 2022, Turkey’s arms imports to Ukraine have multiplied by 30, in particular with the sale of these reusable combat drones. Considered as “low cost” machines, they would cost around 5 million euros.