MICA (Missile d’interception, de combat et d’autodéfense, “interception, combat and self-defence missile”) is the multi-mission air-to-air missile system for the Rafale and the latest versions of Mirage 2000-5 combat aircraft. It has a high level of tactical flexibility in order to meet the most demanding operational requirements:

  • Beyond Visual Range (BVR) multi-target / multi-shoot
  • Enhanced Short Range (SR) performance
  • Maximum flexibility for multi-role / swing-role aircraft

MICA has a totally dual role. It is able to cope with both BVR and SR combat situations and exhibits very high performance in both situations. The weapon covers Beyond Visual Range situations and in addition offers 2 guidance systems with its 2 interoperable seekers:

  • RF MICA with radar seeker providing all weather shoot-up / shoot down capability 
  • IR MICA with dual waveband imaging infrared seeker surpassing latest generation AAM missiles.

Missile Guidance

• Strap-down inertial reference unit
• Active RF monopulse doppler seeker
• Passive imaging IR seeker
• Data-link
• Lock-On After Launch
• Lock-On Before
• Operational Range: Air-Launched: 500 m–80 km

Launch Target Designation Modes

• Onboard aircraft radar
• Electro-optical sensors
• Helmet mounted sight (HMS)
• Autonomous lock-on from the seeker’s own IRST scans

Aerodynamics And Control

• Long chord wings
• Tail control surfaces 
• Thrust vector control (TVC)


• High impulse
• Low-smoke
• Solid propellant

Fuzing And Warhead

• RF Proximity Fuze
• Impact fuze
• Focused splinters

Aircraft Integration

• Rail or eject launchers
• Firing up to max g and max angle of attack

Program References

• More than 4,000 missiles sold worldwide
• Integrated with Mirage 2000-5 series and Rafale
• Full scale production
• In service

MICA outperforms other BVR missiles with its unique stealthy interception capability provided by its silent seeker. In SR combat situations, combination of Lock On After Launch mode and excellent acquisition and tracking performance authorize 360° launch envelope with first shoot / first kill capability even in case of a threat in backward sector.

Lightweight and compact, MICA was originally designed as a «multi-aircraft» missile that could be easily integrated onto any modern fighter aircraft. Medium to lightweight modern fighters carry at least 6 MICA missiles, together with other stores (eg. air-to-ground missiles) without any compromise on short range performance. Dual use MICA missile provides a dual use (air and surface launch)

MICA entered service in 1997, and was designed to replace the short-term MAGIC 2 missile and the medium-range Super 530 D missile with a single weapon system equipped with two interchangeable seekers: one being radio frequency and the other infrared. Approximately 5,000 MICA missiles in various versions have been ordered by 22 armed forces around the world.

The MICA was built upon France’s extensive experience in developing air-to-air weapons for its home-grown combat aircraft through iterations of the Magic family of infrared (IR)-guided missiles and the R.530 family of semi active radar-guided missiles.

The MICA replaced both of those weapons with a family of two missiles that used the same airframe but different seekers. It also has evolved into a ground- and ship-launched air defence weapon. Overall, 5,000 missiles have been produced, of which 3,500 have been exported.

“France adopted a double-duality approach with MICA,” say senior MBDA officials working on the program. Company policy prevents them from being named. “We are using a radar and IR seeker, but the missile is capable of engaging at short range and beyond visual range in one weapon.”

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