A day after signing the purchase deal of 36 Rafale fighter jets with France, the Indian Air Force successfully tested the French-made MICA missiles from an upgraded Mirage-2000 fighter aircraft.
The Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missiles are known for their high level of tactical flexibility.
An IAF Mirage-2000 succeeded in shooting down a moving target flying at a low altitude. The target was much smaller than an actual aircraft making it more difficult to be shot down.
“The target was destroyed on missile impact validating the launch envelope of the missile. With the success of this mission, the IAF has become one of the few Air Forces in the world with the capability of such long range Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air missile,” the Air Force statement said.
A MICA missile has an operational range of 50 km and a speed of Mach 4.
The air-version of the missiles, which India has recently acquired, are currently operated by the air forces of France, Taiwan, UAE, Egypt and Greece.
Made by French missile maker MBDA, the MICA can be fired from Dassault Rafale and some variants of the Dassault Mirage-2000.
India had already signed a deal with France for the upgrade of its Dassault Mirage fleet to the most modern Mark 2 variant.