With MBDA the main weapons supplier for several of the major aircraft platforms either in use or under consideration by the region, namely Mirage, Tornado, Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale, the company is stressing the air-launched capability that its weapon systems are capable of providing, namely Dual Mode Brimstone (DMB) and Storm Shadow / SCALP, both used extensively during Operation Unified Protector in Libya.
MBDA is also displaying ASRAAM which is classified as a within visual range (WVR) dominance weapon. The weapon features an incredibly fast reaction time from button press to end-game performance giving the pilot the ability to engage the enemy without risking a dogfight as ASRAAM will defeat all WVR missiles, existing or planned. A key feature of ASRAAM is its exceptionally high speed (maintained throughout the entire flight envelope) achieved by means of a combination of low drag and rocket motor size and which gives the weapon its high level of agility.
The missile system linked to Mirage and Rafale is MBDA’s MICA which will also be in full view at the Dubai Air Show. An aircraft equipped with a full MICA configuration, namely a combination of two, interoperable missile versions, MICA RF (active radio frequency) and MICA IR (passive dual waveband imaging infrared seeker), where the type of guidance can be selected at the very last moment before launch, gives the fighter pilot a very flexible and comprehensive all-sector short range to Beyond Visual Range capability. The tactics to evade RF or IR missiles are very different; as a result MICA has become known as the “silent killer” as a targeted aircraft is highly unlikely to pick up that it is under attack.
Looking across the range of new generation European combat aircraft such as Rafale, Typhoon and Gripen, Meteor is being developed by MBDA to offer a major and truly unbeatable air combat advantage. Meteor has been designed to provide the largest No Escape Zone of any air-to-air weapon resulting in a long stand-off range and high kill probability to ensure air superiority and pilot survivability. Unlike other supposedly long range air-to-air weapons, Meteor’s ramjet propulsion allows the missile to maintain velocity (the missile reaches speeds of around mach 4) throughout the entire flight envelope right up to the final stages of target approach and end-game impact. It is this unequalled capability that gives Meteor its exceptional agility which serves to make an enemy aircraft’s evasive manoeuvres completely futile.
At the Dubai Air Show a number of MBDA systems are on display from the high mobility MPCV to the Aster 30 system designed to protect high value sites and areas as well as deployed forces from the full spectrum of air attack.
MPCV is just one of a number of VSHORAD systems deploying the highly flexible Mistral missile. Ordered by a customer in the region, MPCV features 4 ready-to fire missiles mounted on its turret. It is a high performance, high fire power (the Mistral missiles can be rapidly reloaded) high mobility system.
For a simultaneous, multi-target engagement, 360° capability, VL MICA provides an ideal solution for the protection of fixed or mobile military or civilian assets. This vertically launched system covers the short to medium range spectrum and features the extensively proven in-service MICA missile to provide a rapid reaction all-weather defence against a wide range of threats. With its very short reaction time and high firing rate it can deal with several targets simultaneously. The system comprises a Tactical Operation Centre (TOC) and up to six launchers (each housing four missiles) mounted on vehicles.