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Defence
MBDA’s Mistral 3 missile intercepts a drone © MBDA

| Alexandre Rocchi

MBDA’s Mistral 3 missile intercepts a drone

In front of 15 foreign delegations, MBDA’s teams carried out a demonstration of the Mistral 3 missile which destroyed its Mirach 40 mobile drone target located over 7 km away.

On November 6, a MBDA Mistral 3 missile intercepted a moving target over 7 kilometers away. 15 foreign delegations attended the demonstration firing “carried out on a small Mirach 40 target, from a complete installation including a Saab Giraffe 1-X radar system, a LICORNE command and control unit, and an ATLAS-RC launcher”, specifies MBDA, recalling that “the Mistral 3 missile, currently into service within the French forces, is an air defense missile equipped with an infrared imaging seeker and advanced image processing capabilities that enables it to engage low thermal signature targets such as: UAVs, turbojet-powered missiles and fast craft at long range, while offering excellent resistance to countermeasures”. The firing aimed at demonstrating “the capabilities of the Mistral system in an anti-drone role against a real target in flight, typical of the small UAVs that embody one of today’s key threats”.

“Several LICORNE systems using different configurations of sensors (SAAB 1-X radar, IR monitoring, remotely operated cameras) and launchers (ATLAS RC and MANPAD) were deployed at the site to illustrate the overall performance of the system against UAVs, and the ability of the missile to lock on to this type of target”, continues the European missile manufacturer which specifies the Atlas-RC is a twin launcher using an automated turret, carrying two Mistral ready to fire and controlled from the cabin of the vehicle. It is equipped with day/night sensors providing surveillance and fire control. The LICORNE is a command and coordination center, developed from a set of software components already proven on MBDA's Mistral and VL MICA air defense systems. It can coordinate firing of 8 Atlas-RC systems and link them to higher-level command systems, including via advanced links such as link 16 or satellite links. Also able to use radar or optronic sensors, LICORNE offers sufficient advance notice to Atlas-RC launcher to operate the entire Mistral range.

MBDA Missile defence Counter-UAV Anti-drone Mistral

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