French Companies to Develop Remotely-Operated Loitering Munitions

It seems that the estimates in Israel that France would prefer French manufacturers have come true, although it is important to note that this is only the implementation of a part of the large tender that includes thousands of loitering munition systems

French Companies to Develop Remotely-Operated Loitering Munitions

Photo credit: LARINAE [© Nexter]

Not a week has passed since the French General Directorate of Armaments (Direction générale de l’armement - DGA) issued a tender for the purchase of thousands of loitering munition systems for the French army – and the companies that won most of the tender have already been announced.

On 16 June, Nexter Arrowtech (a KNDS company), EOS Technologies, and TRAAK signed a contract with the French defense innovation agency, AID, to develop a new type of medium-range remotely-operated munition, embodying an anti-tank warhead.

If so, it seems that the estimates in Israel that the French Ministry of Defense would prefer French manufacturers have come true, although it is important to note that this is only the implementation of a part of the large tender that includes thousands of loitering munition systems.

Monch.com website reported that the first demonstrator of the proposed solution – a core-generating charge (CGN) integrated into a contact drone, with a range of at least 80km and an endurance of approx. eight hours – managed under the AID’s LARINAE call for proposals, will be delivered by the end of 2024. The entirely French solution will incorporate a UAS from EOS with a CGN produced by Nexter and a GPS-denied navigation system developed by TRAAK that will make the platform virtually immune to jamming.

According to the companies involved, the innovative CGN will enable the munition to thwart the active defenses of an armored vehicle before penetrating its armor. Its reusability will also enable it to conduct intelligence missions, thanks to an optronic ball able to detect a vehicle at ranges of 15km by day and 3km at night. It will have navigation capabilities in a contested environment and can also be reused if it has not attacked a target. A VTOL capability and a high-performance solution for arming and disarming the warhead will enable operators to recover it easily and safely. Advanced telemetry and the capabilities of the optronic ball ensure human-in-the-loop control throughout the mission.

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