MICA (missile)

The MICA ( Missile d' Interception, de Combat et d' Autodéfense ) is a short-and medium -range air - to-air missile, the (now MBDA ) was originally developed by Matra. You should replace the Matra R.550 Magic and developed by the Super 530.

  • 2.1 Comparable systems
  • 3.1 External links
  • 4.1 Notes and references



The two versions MICA RF and IR is based on the same rocket, which is equipped with different search heads. The seeker head of the RF is tapered and used a version of the AD 4A ( Active Anti- Air Seeker ), an active radar homing head, the (now Thales Group) originally developed by Dassault Electronique has been developed. This search head is constructed quite modular, it can be divided into ten different modules. So it may be relatively easy provided with better components, depending on the missile but also be adjusted accordingly. The AD A4 is also used in the Meteor and ASTER missiles. Like this, it has a ceramic radome, and well working on a frequency band of 12-20 GHz, also known as J- band. With the radome together the whole seeker head weighs a little less than 12 kg.

The seeker head of the IR version features a passive infrared sensor, which is rounded at the front and partially transparent.

Both versions differ in the type of target attack. While the radar-guided RF version is a fire-and -forget missile, operates the infrared-guided MICA IR after the lock- after-launch principle. This rocket is fired and only then allocated by HUD or helmet visor a goal what a potential adversary is relatively little warning time for a response. Both versions have in turn shared the opportunity to attack targets in the short and medium distance. To increase its maneuverability at short distances, the MICA was equipped with a thrust vector control. This control has four small rotatable thruster, which are positioned in an X shape in the exhaust stream.

The rocket shell and the radar seeker head can be used in a slightly modified form also in the ground - to-air missile Aster.


The MICA EM corresponds to the MICA RF. The designation stands for électromagnétique (EM) and is used primarily in French -speaking countries used it but occurs more frequently in international texts.

The term EMP identifies the inactive MICA variant, which is used in the French Air Force for training purposes.


In the VL MICA (Vertical Launch MICA ) is the ground -to-air version of the MICA. It corresponds to the air -to-air versions, but is of fixed or mobile launch positions fired ( on ships ). The land mobile version was first presented in February 2000 at the Asian Aerospace show in Singapore to the public. Unlike the airborne MICA VL only has a range of over 15 km at a maximum height of 10 km. The Delegation Generale pour l' Armement was 2005 that the VL MICA is to be provided for all branches of the armed forces of the French armed forces in service. From 2006 to 2008 there was the first start of VL MICA, twice on goals in more than 15 kilometers away.

A VL MICA system consists of several vehicles, mostly trucks of 5 - ton class. These carry a 3D radar, a launcher battery, three to six MICA and a command container.


The MICASRAAM is a competing model to the AIM -132 ASRAAM, which was developed by GEC Marconi ( UK) and Matra in 1990. It is a short-range MICA with a developed by GEC Marconi infrared seeker head. It should only be a third of a normal MICA cost and be put into service in 1995. Since both companies are split into different areas and merged into BAE Systems and MBDA, it can be assumed that the MICASRAAM is no longer being developed.

States use

According to MBDA (09 /2011) 3000 MICA have been sold in seven different countries, of which alone over 1000 MICA RF.

  • France France The French Air Force and Navy plans to make up to the year 2012 1100 MICA in service.
  • Greece Greece MICA-RF 100 and 100 MICA-IR
  • India India is interested in 450-600 MICA for the Mirage 2000-5. The contract is not yet signed (as of 09 /2011)
  • Morocco Morocco 100 MICA for Mirage F1 and 50 VL-MICA for the three ships of the Sigma class, which has twelve launchers.
  • Oman Oman 60 VL-MICA for undergoing construction corvettes Khareef class, each with twelve launchers and be put into service in 2012.
  • Qatar Qatar 100 MICA-RF for the Mirage 2000 5EDA
  • China Republic of China Republic 960 MICA-RF for Mirage 2000-5
  • United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates 500 for Mirage 2000-9/9D

Comparable systems

Though not really comparable, there are some air - to-air missiles, which are very similar, at least in some areas of the MICA.

  • AIM -120 AMRAAM
  • AIM -9X
  • Python 5
  • V3E A- Darter