On 11th June 2007, MBDA’s MICA multi-mission air-to-air missile successfully destroyed its intended target following launch from an operational French Air Force Rafale F2 aircraft.
The firing, part of an ongoing training programme being carried out by French Air Force pilots with MICA, took place at the DGA’s CELM missile launch test facility at Biscarrosse off the south west Atlantic coast of France.
For this latest firing, a complex combat scenario was created with a Rafale pilot being chased and threatened by an “enemy aircraft” (actually a C22 drone) approaching at a distance of several nautical miles from its rear sector. A second Rafale, acting as wingman, acquired the target and provided target designation information to the first aircraft via the Link 16 data link.
On being launched, MICA carried out an extremely sharp 180° manoeuvre in its inertial guidance phase, a manoeuvre made possible by the missile’s exceptional agility provided by its thrust vector control feature. MICA then advanced towards the designated target which it destroyed. The MICA missile used during this training session was the RF variant, featuring an electromagnetic active seeker.
Patrick Tramier, MBDA’s Director of Programmes, said: “This latest success proves MICA’s extreme efficiency in carrying out an out of sector self defence role with target data provided by a support aircraft. It is just one of a series of successful tests within the current training campaign which has shown MICA’s exceptional performance against targets flying at different altitudes and speeds as well as targets carrying out evasive manoeuvres and within a countermeasures environment”.