MICA (missile)

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MICA P1220883.jpg
Type Medium-range air-to-air and short-range surface-to-air missile
Place of origin  France
Service history
In service 1996 (MICA-EM); 2000 (MICA-IR); 2010 (VL-MICA)
Used by See Users
Production history
Manufacturer MBDA
Weight 112 kg[citation needed]
Length 3.1 m[citation needed]
Diameter 160 mm[citation needed]
Warhead 12 kg focused splinters HE warhead
RF proximity fuze, impact fuze[citation needed]

Engine One SNPE solid-propellant rocket motor
Wingspan 320 mm[citation needed]
Air Launched MICA: 50km,[1][2][3][4] MICA VL: 20 km[5][6][7]
Flight altitude up to 11,000 m[citation needed]
Speed >Mach 3[8]
Inertial guidance
MICA-EM: Active radar homing
MICA-IR: Imaging Infrared homing
Dassault Rafale, Mirage 2000, F-16E Block 60
MICA infrared on a Rafale Marine

The MBDA MICA (Missile d’interception, de combat et d'autodéfense, “interception, combat and self-defence missile”) is an anti-air multi-target, all weather, fire-and-forget short and medium-range missile system. It is intended for use both by air platforms as individual missiles as well as ground units and ships, which can be equipped with the rapid fire MICA Vertical Launch System. It is fitted with a thrust vector control (TVC) system.

It was developed from 1982 onward by Matra. The first trials occurred in 1991, and the missile was commissioned in 1996 to equip the Rafale and Mirage 2000. It is a replacement for both Super 530 (interception) and Magic II (dogfight).

A Mica launched from a Rafale has successfully on June 11, 2007 for the very first time in the aviation history destroyed a target behind the launcher, the target was designated by another aircraft and coordinates were transmitted by Link 16.[9]


There are two MICA variants; MICA RF has an active radar homing seeker and MICA IR has an imaging infra-red homing seeker. Both seekers are designed to filter out counter-measures such as chaff and decoy flares. A thrust vector control unit fitted to the rocket motor increases the missile's agility. The missile is capable of lock-on after launch (LOAL) which means it is capable of engaging targets outside its seeker's at-launch acquisition range. Mounted on the Rafale, the MICA IR can provide IR imagery to the central data processing system, thus acting as an extra sensor.[10]

MICA can also be employed as a short-range surface-to-air missile. It is available in a ground-based version,[11] VL MICA, fired from a truck-mounted box launcher, and a naval version, VL MICA-M, fired from a ship-fitted vertical launch system. On October 23, 2008, 15:30, at CELM, Biscarosse (Landes), a VL MICA missile successfully performed the last of its 14 test firings meaning it is now ready for mass production. The target drone was flying at low level, over the sea, 12 km away; despite this distance, MICA, equipped with an active radar seeker, locked on the target and shot it down. Corvettes too small to have the big and costly Aster missile systems will be the best customer for the VL MICA-M, that basically is an Aster without its booster and PIF-PAF vectorial control (as an example, the diameter and radar are roughly the same in both Mica and Aster).[12]

The Armée de l'Air received its first MICA batch in the 1990s with its 37 Mirage 2000-5. The French Air Force and Navy have ordered a total of 1110 MICAs, divided equally between RF and IR versions; 1000 missiles had been delivered by November 2010.[citation needed] MICA is also offered for export, the first sale was made to Taiwan in 1992 when the Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) ordered some 960 MICA RF missiles to arm its new Dassault Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft.[citation needed] The Indian Air Force also ordered 490 MICA IR and MICA RF missiles for its upgraded Mirage 2000H multi role fighters.


  • VL MICA-M RF[13]


Oman Sultanate of Oman
 Republic of China (Taiwan)
 United Arab Emirates

See also[edit]

Similar missiles
Related lists


  1. ^ http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/mica-specs.htm
  2. ^ http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/missile/row/mica.htm
  3. ^ http://www.redstar.gr/Foto_red/Eng/Weapons_HAF/HAF_Mica.html
  4. ^ http://ccxy.tripod.com/mica.html
  5. ^ http://www.mbda-systems.com/mediagallery/files/vl_mica_land_ds.pdf
  6. ^ VL Mica
  7. ^ Sigma-class frigates
  8. ^ VL Mica
  9. ^ "Tir MICA depuis un Rafale F2 quand le chasseur devient la cible". 
  10. ^ Giovanni de Briganti (2011-05-31). "Rafale in Combat: "War for Dummies"". Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  11. ^ http://www.army-technology.com/projects/vlmica/
  12. ^ A&D dic 2008, news section
  13. ^ http://www.army-technology.com/projects/vlmica/
  14. ^ "Cabinet Committee clears 950 million Euro deal to procure 500 air-to-air missiles for Mirage2000". The Times Of India. 2012-01-04. 
  15. ^ "Upgraded Moroccan Mirage marks first signing for Astrac partnership" By Jamie Hunter, FlightGlobal 20 June 2007

External links[edit]