European missile specalist, MBDA has announced the launch of the new VL MICA NG system at the ongoing Euronaval exhibition.
The VL MICA NG system is based on the integration into the existing VL MICA system of the MICA New Generation (NG) anti-air missile.
Development of the MICA NG began in 2018 primarily to equip France’s Rafale combat aircraft.
The VL MICA system family, will consequently benefit from enhanced potential to counter future threats, MBDA said in a release.
The VL MICA system family in its naval or land-based versions, equips 15 armed forces around the world.
“After two years of development on the New Generation MICA missile, we have acquired a deep understanding of the performance of this brand new air-to-air missile which allows us, in full confidence, to market its integration into VL MICA ground-to-air or surface-to-air defence systems. The total compatibility between the two generations of missile will allow armed forces to combine them with their existing systems, thus maximizing their return on investments,” said MBDA CEO Eric Béranger.
The new VL MICA NG system offers improved capabilities to handle atypical targets (UAVs, small aircraft) as well as future threats, characterised by increasingly low observable infrared and radio frequency signatures. Additionally, it will be able to intercept at longer distances the ‘conventional’ targets (aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and anti-ship missiles) already addressed by the current VL MICA system.
The dimensions of the MICA NG munition remain unchanged compared to existing VL MICA launchers.
This allows them to be integrated into existing VL MICA launchers.
The existing missile data link mechanisms will also remain compatible with the increased kinematic performance of the missiles, enabling current VL MICA systems to be upgraded to VL MICA NG standard by simple software updates.
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