The French defense innovation agency has opted for a consortium led by MBDA to undertake the Larinae loitering munition project.
The France Larinae project aims to rapidly develop a remotely controlled ammunition capable of neutralizing hardened targets within a 50-kilometer radius.
French defense innovation agency (AID) and the General Directorate of Armaments (DGA) have selected two consortia from 16 proposals: one led by MBDA and the other consisting of Nexter, Arrowhead, EOS Technology, and Traak.
MBDA’s project aims to develop a compact and mobile drone with deployable wings, while the Nexter/EOS/Traak project focuses on a surveillance drone capable of vertical take-off and landing, operating without GPS and providing long-term surveillance capabilities.
MBDA’s selection of their MUTANT concept for remotely-controlled ammunitions was driven by a ‘minimum viable product’ approach that prioritizes user requirements. With a focus on meeting the needs of the end-users, the MUTANT concept emerged as the chosen solution.
The propelled and guided munition integrates advanced technologies, including those from the AKERON family, ensuring high performance in neutralizing armored and mobile targets with operational reliability and safety, stated the company.
The newly developed drone will weigh around ten kilograms with deployable wings. This solution should make it possible to explore use cases requiring compactness and mobility, providing flexibility and versatility in various scenarios.
By the end of 2024, the initial demonstrations will provide an opportunity for the AID and the DGA to evaluate the suitability of the industrial proposals in relation to the operational requirements expressed by the French Armed Forces.
Last year, the French Ministry of Armed Forces announced the Colibri and Larinae programs for acquiring loitering munitions. MBDA is also competing in the Colibri effort with their MBDA-Novadem proposal, featuring a rotary-wing drone tailored for urban environments.