Following an international competition launched in 2007, the VL MICA short-range air defence system, in its ground-based configuration, has won its first export customer order. This success reinforces that already achieved by the naval variant of VL MICA which has already been ordered by two export customers.
MBDA will be the prime contractor and integrator of a system based on: a command and co-ordination centre (known as the TOC or Tactical Operations Centre), a variable number of vertical launch vehicles produced by MBDA as well as a surveillance and acquisition radar.
VL MICA development was launched in 2005, benefiting from French DGA (Délégation Générale pour l’Armement) funding within the “SALVE” Programme and was achieved with the support of the French Armed Forces.
Antoine Bouvier, MBDA’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “This first export contract is an attestation that the VL MICA concept is equally appealing in its land version as it is in its naval version. The system provides decisive innovations for the operational user, namely a unique multi-purpose missile deployed from a high performance vertical launch system”.
The MICA missile is the only missile in its category in the world capable of being fitted with either an active or an IR seeker: This offers the guarantee of an effective response against saturating attacks in an environment of severe counter-measures.
VL MICA uses a vertical launch system to assure coverage in all azimuths. The munition is housed in an environmentally sealed container which acts both as a storage and as a launch container, assuring the missile’s protection against external environmental conditions. This has the added advantages of reducing preventative maintenance operations to a simple periodic check and significantly enhancing the missile’s service life.
With industrial facilities in four European countries and within the USA, MBDA has an annual turnover of EUR 2.7 billion and an order book of EUR 11.9 billion. With more than 90 armed forces customers in the world, MBDA is a world leader in missiles and missile systems. MBDA is the only group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three armed forces (land, sea and air). In total, the group offers a range of 45 missile systems and countermeasures products already in operational service and more than 15 others currently in development. MBDA is jointly held by BAE Systems (37.5%), EADS (37.5%) and Finmeccanica (25%).