The MICA NG, a new infrared seeker based on a matrix sensor will provide increased sensitivity, a new radio frequency seeker with an active electronically scanned antenna (AESA) will allow for smart detection strategies.
The VL MICA NG system is based on the integration into the existing VL MICA system of the MICA NG (New Generation) anti-air missile, which began development in 2018 primarily to equip France’s Rafale combat aircraft.
The lower volume of electronic components will enable the MICA NG to carry a larger load of propellant, significantly extending its range, and the new dual-pulse rocket motor will provide additional energy to the missile at the end of its flight, improving its manoeuvrability and its ability to intercept targets at long range.
In surface-to-air mode, the MICA NG will be able to intercept targets over 40 km away. The MICA NG missile will be available in series production from 2026.
MBDA CEO Eric Béranger said: “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 to integrate into VL MICA ground-to-air or surface-to-air defence systems.”
The dimensions of the MICA NG munition remain unchanged, allowing it to be integrated into existing VL MICA launchers. The existing missile data link mechanisms are 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.