Florence Parly, the minister for the armed forces, said France had to be prepared for an uncertain future.
The French army has been given the go-ahead to develop bionic soldiers resistant to pain and stress and endowed with extra brain power thanks to microchip implants.
The approval came from the ethical committee of the armed forces ministry, which said in a report that France needed to keep up with countries that were already working to produce super-soldiers.
The committee gave details of some lines of research, including pills to keep troops awake for long periods and surgery to improve hearing. Other areas in the “field of study” involve implants which release anti-stress substances or “improve cerebral capacity”.
Research is also under way into implants that enable headquarters to read soldiers’ “physiological parameters” from a distance, or locate them on the battlefield.