The French defense innovation agency, AID (Agence de l’Innovation de Défense), has chosen a consortium led by MBDA as the selected entity in response to the LARINAE call for projects. The primary aim of LARINAE is to facilitate the swift and collaborative development of remotely controlled ammunition (loitering munition) with the capability to neutralize fortified targets within a fifty-kilometer radius.

Building upon the achievements of the initial COLIBRI call for projects, MBDA has solidified its presence in the realm of remotely-controlled ammunition. The selection of its MUTANT concept, which adopts a “Minimum Viable Product” approach, emphasizes MBDA’s commitment to meeting user requirements and ensuring agility. This choice underscores the company’s dedication to delivering a swift, innovative, and independent solution to fulfill the armed forces’ needs.

This new propelled and guided munition benefits from technologies developed by MBDA over many years, in particular the AKERON family, to ensure very high levels of performance in neutralizing armored and mobile targets while guaranteeing operational reliability and complete safety.

MUTANT also takes advantage of the latest technological advances in the field of civil and military UAVs to produce a munition with the best cost/performance ratio.

Engineered as a fully interactive weapon system, this solution represents a significant advancement in man-in-the-loop capabilities. It provides additional and complementary features to ground-based combat missiles, enhancing targeting speed, maneuverability, endurance, range, and the ability to overwhelm adversaries. With its remote-controlled functionality and capacity to engage targets beyond line-of-sight, this ammunition seamlessly complements MBDA’s existing range of battlefield effectors, including the AKERON MP and LP systems.

Image Credit: MBDA


The consortium adheres to the guidelines set forth by French Ministerial Instruction 1618, enabling collaboration with the armed forces and the DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) to determine the optimal balance between requirements and solutions. This approach ensures a swift and efficient response to meet the specific needs of the armed forces while maintaining a high level of effectiveness.

The forthcoming ambitious demonstrations scheduled for 2024 as part of the LARINAE contract will leverage the significant progress achieved by MBDA through self-financed efforts since 2022. Notably, the successful initial flights of the MUTANT MTO with the SME Delair have laid a solid foundation for rapid advancements and enhanced adaptation to meet the specific requirements of this new capability. This proactive approach ensures accelerated development and efficient response to evolving needs.

About MBDA

MBDA is a unique multi-national European group, a world leader in the field of complex weapon systems, playing a key role in keeping nations safe. Created in the spirit of international cooperation, MBDA and its 14,000+ employees work together to support the national sovereignty of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, their allies worldwide. As an accelerator for innovation, MBDA is the only European group capable of designing and manufacturing complex weapons to meet the full range of current and future operational requirements of the three armed forces (land, sea, and air). Airbus (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%), and Leonardo (25%) own MBDA.

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Post Image- Graphical depiction of a loitering munition (Image Credit: MDBA)