The French defense procurement agency (DGA) has awarded a consortium led by Thales and CS Group a contract to develop and deliver the Parade drone countermeasures system.
Awarded on April 26, the contract contains firm commitments for €33 million, while the total program budget includes €350 million over 11 years.
The modular, multi-mission Parade system will be expected to detect, classify and safely neutralize micro- and mini-drones either to protect sensitive sites on a temporary basis or as part of overseas deployments abroad.
Under the contract, the first six systems are to be delivered in early 2023. DGA will have the option of ordering several dozen additional systems at a later point in time.
With its scheduled arrival in 2023, the counter-drone system will reinforce public safety and protect infrastructure at two major sporting events in France: the 2023 Rugby World Cup and the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The system can also be used by the armed forces to help protect events, people and civil and military infrastructure, in particular during large gatherings.
Parade will provide permanent 360° site protection and is designed for easy transport from one site to another. Each system is made up of direction finders, radars, identification optronics and jammers organized around a command and control core.
“The fight against drones is a fundamental segment in the evolution of the French Armed Forces. In 2021 we tested for the first time the destruction of a drone with a laser weapon. Today, we are buying state-of-the-art equipment to counter enemy drones, in particular to strengthen the protection of sensitive military sites, in accordance with the Military Programming Law 2019-2025,” French defense minister Florence Parly said announcing the contract.