VL MICA surface-to-air defence system. (Photo: MBDA)
November 14, 2011 defpro.com
While the first VL MICA naval surface-to-air defence systems are being delivered to customers, the production of VL MICA land systems for an export customer is in full swing ready for deliveries starting in 2012. In this respect, the equipment produced and assembled in MBDA's facilities in France has been deployed at a French Air Force airbase, where the various vehicles will be networked to validate a standard operational configuration.
The French Air Force has already taken part in the VL MICA land programme in 2009 which carried out the technical and operational assessment of the VL MICA demonstrator. This activity was an element of the SALVE (Sol-Air à Lancement Vertical - in English: ground-to-air, vertical launch system) technology demonstrator programme notified to MBDA by the DGA (the French armament procurement agency) in 2005.
MBDA's Chief Executive Officer Antoine Bouvier declared: "While our customers are receiving their initial vessels equipped with our surface-to-air VL MICA systems, MBDA facilities are currently preparing the land version of the product. The DGA, the armed forces and MBDA have worked in close cooperation, making VL MICA a true industrial success which can already boast four export customers. As such, together with Aster and Mistral, VL MICA gives MBDA a full range of air defence missile systems".