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September 25, 2016

IAF test-fires MICA multi-mission air-to-air missile

The Indian Air Force's (IAF) Tiger Squadron has successfully test-fired the recently acquired long range air-to-air MICA missile.

By Srivari Aishwarya

The Indian Air Force's (IAF) Tiger Squadron has successfully test-fired the recently acquired long range air-to-air MICA missile.

During the test, the missile was fired from Mirage-2000 Upgrade combat aircraft to engage a manoeuvring target.

The missile achieved a direct hit on the target that was much smaller than an actual aircraft and flying at low-altitude, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

With successful demonstration of the missile's launch envelope, the IAF has become one of the few Air Forces in the world with the capability of such long range beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile.

The operational success of this mission confirms the critical capability of the IAF, the statement said.

The 3.1m-long missile has been designed to meet several operational requirements such as BVR multi-target / multi-shoot, enhanced short range performance and maximum flexibility for multi-role / swing-role aircraft.

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India bought 450 MICAs from European missile manufacturer MBDA for $1.23bn in 2012, NDTV reported.

"The operational success of this mission confirms the critical capability of the IAF."

Besides Mirage 2000-5 combat aircraft, MICA can also be mounted on a Rafale jet.

The multi-mission air-to-air missile system is currently in service with the French Air Force and Navy and several foreign Forces.

This weapon offers two guidance systems with its two interoperable seekers such as RF MICA with radar seeker providing all weather shoot-up / shoot down capability and IR MICA with dual waveband imaging infrared seeker surpassing latest generation AAM missiles, MBDA said in a statement.

Image: An air-launched MICA on a Dassault Rafale. Photo: courtesy of Captainm.

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