France's DGA and AID have released two calls for projects for low-cost mini attack drones such as the Switchblade (pictured) that the US has supplied to Ukraine. (AeroVironment Inc)
The Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA), the French defence procurement agency, and the L'Agence de l'Innovation de Défense (AID), the country's defence innovation agency, have released two calls for projects for low-cost mini attack drones. French Ministry of Armed Forces spokesperson Hervé Grandjean told a press conference on 12 May that the first call is for the Larinae project for a system to neutralise targets at a range of over 50 km, and the second is for the complementary Colibri project for a system to neutralise targets in the area of contact with the enemy at a range of over 5 km.
Grandjean expected the selection to be made in the coming weeks for delivery of the systems in 2023. The DGA specified on its website on 12 May that the tenders plan for the first demonstrations nine months after the contract award for the Colibri project and a year after the contract award for the Larinae. Grandjean said the systems would be rugged but disposable, leaving open the possibility that they could be loitering munitions.
He denied a connection between the calls for projects and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Ukraine.