The Indian Air Force (IAF) has reportedly covertly test-fired two rounds of French MICA missiles from a Su-30MKI fighter on August 17 and 18, ahead of the missile’s integration with the Rafale.
Defence sources told TNIE that the anti-air multi-target MICA missile fired from Sukhoi-30 MKI destroyed expendable aerial targets (EATs), demonstrating its stealth capabilities.
The jet, armed with Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile MICA took off from Kalaikunda airbase in West Bengal and fired the missile, successfully neutralising the aerial target drone mimicking enemy aircraft at low altitude.
“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 added.
MBDA MICA air-to-air missile system
The MICA is an all-weather missile system available in both short and medium ranges. The fire-and-forget missile can be used both by air platforms as well as ground units and ships.
The 3.1 metre long missile having a diameter of 0.16 m weighs around 112 kg. It can neutralise targets within a range of 500 metre to 60 km. Of its two variants guided by radio frequency (RF) and infrared (IR), 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.