Air Weapons: MICA Reaches Out

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January 12, 2012:  India has ordered 500 French MICA long range (80 kilometers) radar guided missiles for its 51 French Mirage 200 fighters. The 112 kg (247 pound) MICA costs about $700,000 each and is similar to the U.S. AMRAAM.

India is upgrading its Mirage 2000 fighters, at a cost of $35 million each, so they can handle the MICA. The aircraft are getting new radar and fire control systems, as well as modern electronic warfare systems and digital communications. Other components (like the airframe and engines) would also be refurbished. After the upgrade, the twenty year old Mirage 2000s would be good for another twenty. While expensive, the upgrade would turn the Mirage 2000 fighters into long range air-to-air killers. These aircraft could very efficiently knock down their Pakistani or Chinese opponents (which are equipped with less capable Chinese FD-60 long range missiles).

 


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