France: two consortia selected as part of the Colibri call for remotely operated ammunition projects launched by the Defence Innovation Agency

Paris, March 21, 2023 – The [French] Defence Innovation Agency (AID) has selected two consortia of companies as part of the COLIBRI call for projects, launched in May 2022 by the AID and the General Armaments Directorate (DGA)ly, aiming to quickly bring out French remotely-operated ammunition solutions, available at low cost, easy to use and capable of neutralizing light targets within a 5 km radius.

The project led by MBDA and NOVADEM and the project developed by NEXTER and a French drone company were selected from 19 industrial proposals.

The first demonstrations, expected by the end of 2023, will allow the AID and the DGA to assess the relevance of industrial proposals vis-à-vis the operational need.

This call for projects illustrates the use of innovation to “do things differently”: no technical specifications [were given] but the description of the effects to be produced, ambitious both in terms of effects and deadlines, taking into account the recurring cost as a determining factor (the solution should present an overall cost of use that is significantly lower than the armaments currently in use). The selection of two complementary projects allows the DGA to explore several technological and operational axes. This approach paves the way for a rapid and effective response to the needs expressed by the armed forces.

The project proposed by MBDA and NOVADEM presents ammunition based on rotary-wing drone technologies. This solution, favorable to maneuverability and use by the infantryman, will make it possible to explore use cases in urban and constrained environments.

The project proposed by NEXTER and a French drone company aims to adapt a fixed-wing surveillance drone. This endurance-friendly solution should make it possible to explore use cases in an open and possibly wider environment.

Both projects incorporate a pyrotechnic charge. The first demonstrations of these remotely operated munitions are planned for late 2023. They will provide knowledge of the capabilities of these types of solutions from a technical and operational point of view, as well as aspects relating to usage safety. These projects will contribute to preparing the [French] Ministry of the Armed Forces for the acquisition of these new weapons.

Source French Ministry of the Armed Forces

Unofficial translation by EDR On-Line

Photo courtesy French Ministry of the Armed Forces