IAF successfully test-fires beyond visual range air-to-air MICA missile

The Indian Air Force has successfully fired the recently acquired long range air-to-air MICA missile on a moving target from an upgraded Mirage-2000 combat aircraft.

The missile achieved a direct hit on a manoeuvring target that was much smaller than an actual aircraft and flying at a low altitude, a defence ministry release stated.

'' 'Tigers', the first squadron of Indian Air Force, successfully fired the recently acquired long range 'Beyond Visual Range' air-to-air MICA missile on a maneuvering target from Mirage-2000 Upgrade aircraft,'' the release stated, adding, ''The missile achieved a direct hit on a target, which was much smaller than an actual aircraft and flying at low altitude.''

''The target was destroyed on missile impact validating the launch envelope of the missile. With the success of this mission, the IAF has become one of the few air forces in the world with the capability of such long range Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missile. The operational success of this mission confirms a critical capability of Indian Air Force,'' the release added.

The MICA missiles, acquired from France, are all-weather medium range missiles with fire-and-forget feature.

The MICA missiles are known to have high level of tactical flexibility with multi-mission, multi-target Beyond Visual Range (BVR) capability. It is also known to perform well in Enhanced Short Range (SR). Mica missiles are known to have an operational range of 50 km.

India had finalised a deal with France to upgrade all of its Mirage 2000 aircraft to the most advanced variant of Mirage 2000, the Mirage 2000-5 Mark 2. The new Mirage 2000-5 Mark 2 variant boasts new radar systems, a new weapon suite, missiles, electronic warfare system and modern electronic warfare.