The French military has fast-tracked its pursuit of small suicide drones in response to their effective use in the Ukraine conflict. The French Ministry of the Armed Forces recently narrowed down its Colibri (Hummingbird) project, which began in May, to two contenders out of an original 19.

The country’s Defense Innovation Agency (AID) and procurement agency, the DGA, launched the Colibri project in partnership. France plans to have a “base of 1,800” remotely controlled munitions, Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu told Le Figaro.

In January, he informed French lawmakers that France had “fallen behind” in developing this new weapon type, and he outlined plans for “thousands” of such munitions by 2030. Lecornu cited Ukraine as a lesson learned.

Down to two finalists to provide suicide drones

The two finalists in the Colibri competition are MBDA/Novadem, with a rotor-blade drone proposal, and Nexter, partnering with an unnamed drone manufacturer,…