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MICA

TYPE:
Medium range IR or radar guided air-to-air missile. 

DEVELOPMENT:
Development of the MICA (Missile d' Interception et de
Combat Aerien: combat and air intercept missile)
started in 1982 as a private venture by Matra. The
French Air Force and Navy agreed to the requirement and
interim development of MICA started in 1985. Full-scale
development was authorised by DGA in 1987. Initial
flight trials started in 1991 and an in-service date of
1996 is forecast. The objective of the MICA programme
is to produce a single missile with interchangeable
guidance systems. The missiles will have inertial
guidance, mid-course updating from the launch aircraft,
and either an active radar or imaging IR terminal
seeker. Both radar and IIR versions will be capable of
launch at medium or short range. MICA will have the
benefit of commonality between two very similar
missiles, but will suffer from having a heavier short
range missile and a smaller medium range version. MICA
is attempting to achieve performances to rival both
AMRAAM and ASRAAM. 

DESCRIPTION:
MICA is 3.1 m long, has a body diameter of 160 mm, a
rear fin span of 0.56 m, and weighs 110 kg. The outline
of the new missile is similar to the Super 530, with
long thin wings and rear cropped tail fins, however the
MICA is only marginally heavier than Magic 2. Four
nose-mounted stabilising extensions were added to the
design in 1990. Manoeuvrability is aided by thrust
vector control, with rocket motor efflux deflection
vanes. For medium range interceptions the missile will
use inertial guidance, mid-course trajectory updates
from the launch aircraft, and then an imaging IR seeker
developed by SAT or a J-band (10-20 GHz) active pulse
Doppler radar terminal guidance system AD4A developed
by Dassault Electronique and GEC-Marconi Dynamics. The
range capability of MICA is believed to be about 50 km. 

SPECIFICATIONS:
Length: 3.10 m
Body diameter: 160 mm
Fin span: 0.56 m
Launch weight: 110 kg
Warhead: HE blast fragmentation 12 kg
Fuze: Active radar
Guidance: Command, inertial and active radar or imaging IR
Propulsion: Solid propellant
Range: 50 km
 

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