Saudi Arabia’s land-based VL MICA air defence system spotted

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The Royal Saudi Arabian Armed Forces appear to have acquired land-based Vertical Launch MICA (VL MICA) air defence system made by MBDA.

In social media were released undated imagery showing the new land-based VL MICA air defence system at the Jeddah Islamic Port in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Ministry of Defence of Defence and Aviation (MoDA) is showing interest in the land-based VL MICA air defence system made by MBDA since 2010. Vertical Launch MICA (VL MICA) is a short range, ground based air defence system deploying the MICA fire-and-forget missile, currently the only missile in the world capable of being fitted with either a heatseeking homing head (VL MICA IR) or with an active radar (VL MICA RF).

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According to the MBDA, organisation of a typical VL MICA unit is based on a vehicle-mounted shelter-protected Tactical Operations Centre (TOC) also known as the Platoon Command Post (PCP). This is capable of carrying out all Command, Control and Coordination functions, including real-time engagement, mission planning, system monitoring and connection with the higher level of command.

The TOC remotely controls a tri-dimensional radar mounted on a separate vehicle and three to six vertical launcher units also mounted on vehicles.

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The VL MICA system design ensures ease of deployment, facilitates integration within a global air defence network, minimizes the need for personnel and reduces the logistic footprint and Life Cycle Cost.

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