The French Army has requested the urgent acquisition of loitering munitions developed in the United States. According to the Defence Ministry of France, the request “aims to set up a first urgent capacity for the benefit of the French forces,” with the next six months as their target induction.

An Urgent Request

The French Army had been attempting to deploy remotely operated weapon systems. The French Army’s Chief of Planning, Col. Arnaud Coujon, told reporters during the Eurosatory Defence Exhibition that they hope to acquire Switchblades from AeroVironment. They are looking to integrate these systems within the next six months.

According to reports, Goujon found the Switchblade interesting since it can go about 1.86 miles (around 3 kilometers) away, and fly for 15 minutes. However, he also said that if its range is similar to that of a mortar but ten times more expensive, that will make him less interested.

This is part of their goal to establish a “long-lasting remotely operated ammunition operation” that they want to launch by 2023. This is also aligned with their other projects, Larinae and Colibri, that the General Directorate of Armaments (DGA) and the Defense Innovation Agency (AID) announced in May.