Thursday, January 5, 2012

MMRCA, India order 490 Mica

As part of the Mirage 2000 upgrade program signed in July 2011 with Dassault Aviation, India has just ordered 490 Mica missiles for €950 millions.
As the Rafale also uses the Mica as its primary BVR missile, this event could be interpreted as a good news for the French fighter in the ongoing MMRCA competition.

source :


  1. It is interesting how IAF doesn't order Meteor BVRAAM instead; it will enter service roughly the same time the MMRCA will. But, then, MICA RF/IR is a proven design compared to Meteor. Congrats to MBDA and cautiously optimistic for Dassault!

  2. HMS,

    I don't think the RDY-3 radar being installed on the upgraded IAF Mirages can optimally utilise the Meteor to its full capability. And the Meteor will not be ready for export production for another 3-4 years.

  3. I agree with Justin. There are not a lot of choices in terms of BVR missiles on the Mirage 2000 (what other modern missile besides the MICA actually?). However, I think this is the sheer number of ordered missiles which could allow us to be optimistic for Dassault. 490 missiles for 40 combat aircraft is a lot. France has only ordered 1100 of them for a much bigger fleet.

    However I guess, it's always possible that the IAF could ask Eurofighter to support the MICA as a launch platform..

  4. DeadCanard,

    There are indeed other choices, which are arguably cheaper than the Mica. You could have opted for a combination of an American or European radar + AMRAAM or an Israeli radar + Derby missile. The Israeli option was seriously considered by the IAF until a few years since it was used on the Sea Harrier and Indian Tejas fighter.

    Depending on how you read the tea leaves, this can be interpreted as being in favour or against a Rafale purchase. Even if it is in favour of the Rafale, it will be an interim purchase given the fact that Meteor is about 4-6 years away.

    My personal opinion is that this hints at a possible advantage for the Rafale. I say this because such an expensive deal would cause a ruckus with the media and government auditors if it weren't part of a bigger package.

  5. @ Justin P.
    You're right about other possible cheaper choices.
    But you can't compare METEOR and MICA. They are not the same type of missiles at all.


  6. Betrand,

    I do'nt think anybody compared the Meteor and Mica or put them in the same class.

  7. Justin.
    I anwsered that just because you talked about "interim purchase".
    Maybe i misunderstood you.

  8. Yes it would be an interim purchase as far as the Rafale fleet is concerned since it would be optimised for the Meteor within a few years of induction.

    On the other hand, the Mirage-2000s would finish their service life with the Mica by about 2030.

  9. But onboard Rafale in air to air configuration: MICA (IR/EM) + METEOR.

    In fact, it meens 3 types of missiles.
    Each type having its own job.

  10. The EM configuration would become redundant as the Meteor gets inducted over the coming decade.

  11. Justin:
    The configuration i gave you is the one choosen by the French Air Force.

    The METEOR main job is high value targets/long distance. Because of its much higher price.
    We keep the MICA EM because of its better maneuvrability and for medium/short range.
    And the IR version for its stealth capabilities and short distance engagement.

  12. Just an Update on the MMRCA, as cost being project as the strong point for Rafale, news is emerging that Eurofighter has bid the lowest in MMRCA -

  13. @ Justin

    Right, the MICA purchase is probably aimed for the Mirage. Given that IAF only has 36 of such in its fleet, 490 does suggest a boost of prospect for Rafale.

  14. The performance differential between Rafale and Typhoon seems marginal. Cost, geopolitics and fleet-wide commonality will probably be given more consideration, imho.

  15. Guys please get it right IAF has around 51 mirage 2000 and this whole Mirage 2000 upgardation deal plus weapons package plus other cost would cost staggering $3.9 dollars.