The Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), the French defence procurement agency, has announced Mica NG air-to-air missile program to replace French MICA medium-range missile.
On July 24, 2018, the French Defence Minister Florence Parly, formally authorized the program for the development of the new multi-mission air-to-air missile system MICA NG (MICA Nouvelle Génération).
This missile program to renew the medium-range interception, close combat and self-protection capabilities of the Rafale and the latest versions of Mirage 2000-5 combat aircraft.
According to the DGA’s statement, upgrades of new multi-mission air-to-air missile system will include internal modifications, keeping the exterior unchanged. Work on the establishment of MICA NG will be carried out by a partnership of MBDA, Safran and Thales, which will finance part of research and development from their own sources.
Like the existing MICA rocket, the new MICA NG will be created in two versions – with an infrared guidance, and with active radar homing system.
The entry into service of MICA NG missiles for the arming of the Air Force and Aviation of the French Navy is planned between 2026 and 2031.
The MICA NG will be can launched from a variety of modern aircraft and is primarily meant to arm the latest generation of French fighter aircraft.
The MICA NG can be used on the Rafale, Mirage 2000-5, upgraded Mirage F-1 and F-16 Block 60. A ground-based air defense version is also will be proposed and missiles for export.