France moves to catch up: La Nouvelle Tribune

As part of a dynamic of military innovation, France is firmly committed to the development of drone technologies. The recent visit of the Minister of the Armed Forces to the Drone School (EDD) near Chaumont, in the company of the Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, is an important step in this direction. The EDD, initially integrated into the 61st Artillery Regiment, was emancipated to become an autonomous entity in response to the remarkable expansion of drone applications within the armed forces. The goal is clear: comprehensively train drone instructors for the Army, a need that has become imperative with the increased use of drones.

At the same time, the geopolitical context, especially the situation in Ukraine, encourages France to review its military arsenal. The introduction of kamikaze drones demonstrates this adaptation to the new realities of the battlefield. The construction of the Colibri and Larinae drones, intended for offensive missions, is an ambitious project that places France on the path to modernizing its military system. These devices, equipped to track and annihilate adversaries through explosions, symbolize a remarkable technological advance.

The involvement of the private sector is another crucial lever that France is using to accelerate its progress. Four domestic companies, selected after a call for projects launched by the Ministry of the Armed Forces and the Defense Innovation Agency, are now in charge of designing the kamikaze drones. MBDA and Novadem will collaborate on the Colibri drone, while Nexter and Delair will join forces to develop the Larinae drone. This public-private collaboration illustrates the country’s commitment to mobilizing national skills to catch up in the field of drones.

The technical specificity of the drones currently being developed is also an indicator of French ambition. The Larinae drone, capable of neutralizing an armored vehicle with metric precision from more than 50 kilometers away, and the Colibri drone, with a range of 5 kilometers, are tools that will considerably enrich the military arsenal. The autonomy and precision of these machines demonstrate the will to provide the French army with important assets in the theater of operations.

The French initiative reflects a broader awareness among European nations of the importance of drone technologies in modern defense. By investing in drone training and design, France is not only working to catch up, but also contributing to a European dynamic of improving military capabilities. It is an approach that, beyond national borders, could encourage other countries to invest in this technology crucial to security and sovereignty.

In conclusion, the development of drone technologies is a strategic priority for France. Increased training, technological innovation and collaboration between the public and private sectors are measures that put France on the way to reducing its lag in this crucial area. Current initiatives demonstrate a clear political and military will to adapt to modern combat requirements, while strengthening national and European defense capability.