European missiles and systems maker, MBDA has demonstrated the increased capabilities of the Mistral 3 missile by successfully intercepting a moving target at a range of over seven kilometres.
The Nov 6 demonstration firing was 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.
The Mistral 3 missile, currently in service with the French forces, is an air defence missile equipped with an infrared imaging seeker and advanced image processing capabilities. This allows 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.
Representatives of 15 foreign delegations present for the firing also took part in workshops designed to demonstrate the capabilities of the Mistral system in an anti-drone role, a Nov 15 company statement said, adding that this was done 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 firing 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.
“At MBDA, we are well aware of technological developments and the emergence of new threats to which we need to adapt,” said MBDA CEO Éric Béranger. “For an optimal response to our customers’ needs, we offer complete, integrated solutions, compatible with many legacy systems, to provide them with critical military capabilities that will enable them to safeguard their sovereignty. Whether facing yesterday’s, today’s or tomorrow’s threats, we have appropriate answers for every challenge.”