Rafale M with MICA IR and RF on French Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle

The MBDA MICA (Missile d’interception et de combat aérien, “Interception and Aerial Combat Missile”) is an anti-air multi-target, all weather, fire-and-forget missile system.


It is intended for use both by air platforms as individual missiles as well as ground units and ships, which can be equipped with the rapid fire MICA Vertical Launch System. It is fitted with a thrust vector control (TVC) system.

It was developed from 1982 onward by Matra. The first trials occurred in 1991, and the missile was commissioned in 1996 to equip the Rafale and Mirage 2000. It is a replacement for both Super 530 (interception) and Magic II (dogfight). Two can be fired in a two-second interval.

Two seeker types are available for the MICA, one with active radar homing (MICA RF, also commonly called MICA AR) and the other with imaging infrared homing (MICA IR). Both missiles are able to filter out countermeasures. They can also lock on both before and after launch.

The MICA can be employed as a short-range surface-to-air missile, currently available fired from a truck-mounted box launcher. This system is known as VL MICA SHORAD.

MICA Specifications
Type Multi-mission air-to-air missile
Manufacturer MBDA
Weight 112kg
Warhead 12kg high explosive warheads with RF proximity fuse and focused splinters
Length 3.1m
Diameter 0.16m
Performance Range from 500m to > 60km, tail control surfaces, thrust vector control (TVC), guidance inertial reference unit, RF monopulse Doppler seeker and rear data link receiver

Photo Courtesy MBDA