The new anti-air multi-target MICA missile acquired from France has been successfully test-fired in a secret mission by the Indian Air Force (IAF) from the newly acquired Rafale jets.
Off the Odisha coast, several rounds of air-to-air missiles were conducted from the “French and Russian” jets. “All mission parameters have been met as the target was destroyed validating the missile’s launch envelope. The missile will equip both Sukhoi and Rafale fighter jets,” a defence official told The Express.
Defence sources said that anti-air multi-target MICA missile was fired from Sukhoi-30 MKI for the first time, successfully destroyed Expendable Aerial Targets (EATs), demonstrating its capabilities.
Following the decision to integrate the missile with the French origin Rafale jets, IAF test-fired two rounds of Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile MICA fighter aircraft on Monday and Tuesday. The aircraft took off from Kalaikunda airbase in West Bengal and fired the missile that successfully neutralised the aerial target drone mimicking enemy aircraft at low altitude.
Developed by MBDA, MICA is an all-weather missile system available for the Rafale and the latest versions of Mirage 2000-5 combat aircraft. The 3.1 meters long missile has a diameter of 0.16 m weighs around 112 kg. According to the official MBDA website, it has a high level of tactical flexibility in order to meet the most demanding operational requirements:
Beyond Visual Range (BVR) multi-target / multi-shoot, enhanced Short Range (SR) performance and maximum flexibility for multi-role / swing-role aircraft. MICA outperforms other BVR missiles with its unique stealthy interception capability provided by its silent seeker.
“The IAF is in the process of upgrading its squadrons. It is also in process of procuring Meteor missile from the European weapon maker MBDA. Rafale will be equipped with MICA and Meteor,” the official said.
Last week, the IAF has also successfully conducted two rounds test of R-77 air-to-air missile acquired from Russia. The medium-range air-to-air guided missile R-77 is about 3.6 metre in length and 200 mm in diameter. It weighs around 175 kg.
Both the tests were enabled by state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) that provided logistical support to conduct both the tests