Nexter to Build Tank-Busting Kamikaze Drones for French Army

  • Bureau
  • 10:53 AM, June 20, 2023
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Nexter to Build Tank-Busting Kamikaze Drones for French Army
Switchblade 300 Block 20 loitering munition @Aerovironment

The French Defense Innovation Agency (AID) has asked Nexter to develop new medium-range, remotely operated munition equipped with anti-tank warheads under its LARINAE project.

The aim of the LARINAE project is to test a medium-range remotely operated munition for the French army, capable of dealing with armoured targets. Nexter, a company of KNDS, and its partners are proposing a solution comprising a UAV system manufactured by EOS Technologie, a core-generating charge (CGN) produced by Nexter, and a GPS denied navigation system from TRAAK that makes it immune to jamming, the company said in an official release June 19.

This remotely-operated ammunition will have a range of at least 80km and an autonomy of 3 hours. It will be capable of thwarting the active defences of armoured vehicles before piercing their armour.  Its reusability will also enable it to carry out intelligence missions thanks to an optronic ball which is able to detect a vehicle 15 km away by day and 3 km away by night. It will have navigation capabilities in a contested environment (jamming) and can also be reused when it has not attacked a target. Thanks to a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) system and a high-performance solution for arming and disarming the warhead, the operator will be able to recover it easily and safely.

Finally, the human being remains at the heart of the decision-making loop in every scenario, thanks to the ammunition's advanced telemetry. The optronic ball that equips it enables the operator to observe the terrain to make the decision to strike, which can be interrupted at any time.

The new capability will be demonstrated by the end of 2024.

The French military have put a premium on developing a low-cost unmanned solution that can target and neutralize an armored vehicle between 5-50 km away. “Larinae” focuses on the higher end of that distance, and a second project, “Colibri” focuses on the lower end.

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