The Greek Ministry of Defence has formalized the contract for MBDA’s MICA air-to-air and Scalp EG / Storm Shadow long-range, stand off air-to-ground missile systems to equip the Hellenic Air Force’s fleet of Mirage 2000-5 combat aircraft.
This represents a second tranche of MICA missiles following an earlier order placed two years ago by the Greek authorities. The total number of MICA missiles now under order by Greece stands at 100 (including both the RF and IR variants of the missile). The air force has ordered a total of 34 Scalp EG / Storm Shadow missile systems.
The demanding operational requirements of modern air-to-air combat call for a multi-mission system with a high level of tactical flexibility to suit the latest generation of multi-role / swing role aircraft. In recognition of this MBDA has developed MICA, the multi-mission air-to-air missile system for the Rafale and the latest versions of the Mirage 2000-5 combat aircraft. This missile system has already been ordered by the air forces of several countries including those of France, the UAE, Qatar, Taiwan and Greece.
Storm Shadow / Scalp EG, the long-range, stealthy stand off cruise missile was successfully deployed by the UK Royal Air Force’s famous 617 “Dambusters” Squadron on its Tornado GR4 combat aircraft during “Operation Telic” in Iraq. This missile system, currently being delivered to the RAF and the French Air Force, has also been ordered by the air forces of Italy and the UAE as well as Greece.
Over 3,000 MICA missiles have been ordered to date. Production planning over the next few years for Storm Shadow / Scalp EG currently stands at over 2,000 missiles with first deliveries having commenced early in 2003.
Referring to this major success for MBDA, Marwan Lahoud, MBDA’s Chief Executive Officer said: “As an industry world leader in guided missile systems, MBDA is capable of meeting critical defense requirements and providing the most advanced technical solutions. This contract is yet another demonstration of our customers’ faith in the quality of our products. We are especially delighted by this continued display of confidence shown by the Greek authorities in MBDA”.
There are two variants of the MICA missile system - the RF MICA with an electromagnetic active seeker, and the IR MICA with an imaging IR seeker offering tremendous tactical advantages in Beyond Visual Range (BVR) intercepts.
MICA has the dual capability of being able to cope with both BVR (Beyond Visual Range) and short-range high threat combat situations. In particular the BVR performance benefits from MICA’s short-range capabilities such as its aerodynamic configuration, maneuverability and an IR sensor, not usually associated with BVR missiles. The short-range capability, on the other hand, benefits from the missile’s BVR features such as kinetic performance and autonomous inertial guidance.
Storm Shadow / Scalp EG is a conventionally armed, stealthy, long-range air-to-ground missile designed to neutralize high value targets while avoiding collateral damage. This precision, day or night, all-weather missile system is optimized for pre-planned attacks on static targets whose positions are accurately known before the mission. These would typically be well-defended, infrastructure targets such as port facilities, control centers, bunkers, missile sites, airfields and bridges that would otherwise require several aircraft and missions during the early moments of a conflict at a time when air-superiority might not yet have been achieved.
The only difference between the Storm Shadow / Scalp EG and the Scalp EG / Storm Shadow designation lies in the missile to aircraft interfaces and mission planning system.
With an annual turnover exceeding 2 billion euros, a forward order book of over 14 billion euros and over 70 customers world wide, MBDA is a world leading, global missile systems company. MBDA currently has 45 missile system and countermeasure programs in operational service and has proven its ability as prime contractor to head major multi-national projects.
MBDA is jointly owned by BAE Systems (37.5%), EADS (37.5%) and Finmeccanica (25%), with equal rights.