France to provide Ukraine with its latest kamikaze drones

NX70 drone

The Ministry of the Armed Forces of France announced the supply of the newest kamikaze drones to Ukraine.

The French Minister of the Armed Forces, Sebastien Lecornu, announced new military assistance to Ukraine. Kyiv will receive the latest French kamikaze drones to help the country fight Russian invasion troops.

Latest French kamikaze drones to arrive in Ukraine soon

The advanced French kamikaze drones may arrive in Ukraine in the near future, Le JDD reported.

Mr. Lecornu noted that France is still developing the latest kamikaze drones. According to the minister, this development is currently in the testing phase.

“In the coming weeks, Ukraine will be one of the first countries to receive these drones. This also presents an opportunity for combat testing of this new generation of equipment,” Sebastien Lecornu emphasized.

In addition, the French Minister of the Armed Forces noted that since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, France has trained and educated about 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers.

The minister also emphasized that this process does not stop and that in 2024, another 7,000 to 9,000 Ukrainian soldiers will be trained by the French military.

New French drones Colibri and Larinae

The type of drones that France is going to deliver to Ukraine has not been named. However, in March 2023, BFMTV reported that four French companies—MBDA, Nexter, Delair, and Novadem—would create the French army’s future kamikaze drones.

They are set to unveil the Colibri and Larinae models. These are loistering munitions, also known as suicide drones, whose mission is to track down an enemy and destroy it in an explosion. 

Colibri has been entrusted to MBDA and Novadem. Nexter and Delair will create Larinae drones.

Colibri will be a rotary-wing UAV. It could be based on the NX70 used since 2018 for reconnaissance missions by the French military. To build Larinae, the Nexter/Delair duo could use the UX11 drone. In fact, both UAV models have also a civilian use.

Larinae must be capable of neutralizing an armored vehicle with “metric targeting accuracy” at a distance of over 50 kilometers and offer 60-minute autonomy.

For its part, Colibri is aiming for the same capability, but with a range reduced to 5 kilometers and an autonomy of 30 minutes.

The Larinae is expected to cost no more than 200,000 euros, and the Colibri no more than 20,000 euros.

Ukraine and France signed an agreement on security guarantees

During his visit to Paris, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with French President Emmanuel Macron. The Ukrainian and French leaders signed an agreement on security guarantees for Kyiv.

Zelensky called the document very ambitious, and Macron promised to “do more” to protect Ukraine from Russian aggression. This agreement was signed for 10 years and will remain in force until Ukraine joins NATO.

The document stipulates that in 2024, France will provide up to 3 billion euros in additional assistance to Ukraine. In addition, France pledged to support Ukraine on its path to the EU and NATO, as well as to support Kyiv’s efforts to integrate the defense industry into the NATO and EU security and defense systems.

France will also train instructors, artillerymen, air defense personnel, and air force personnel for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Paris will contribute to the development of Ukraine’s critical infrastructure defense capabilities, including air defense systems.

The French side will also provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine and participate in the post-war reconstruction, modernization, and economic recovery of the country affected by the Russian war.

Image credit: Novadem

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