- 27 December 2005
- Reaction score
Marconi/Matra launch MICASRAAM
Marconi Defence Systems has joined Matra Defense in a 50:50 partnership for the development of MICASRAAM, a derivative of the French MICA missile, optimised for the shortrange air-to-air mission.
The two companies have offered the new missile to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for service in 1995 as an alternative to the Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air missile (ASRAAM). "MICASRAAM is the cornerstone of a GEC-Marconi/Matra special relationship and common strategy policy and I have every confidence we shall win the MoD deal," Matra Defense chairman and chief executive officer Noel Forgeard says. MICASRAAM, which is a combination of Matra's MICA short-range air-to-air missile and a GEC Marconi infra-red (IR) seeker head, is anticipated to cost one-third the development expenditure of other, similar programmes, says Forgeard. The MICA datalink and elongated wings have been removed and the warhead, as well as the imaging IR seeker have been optimised to the short-duration dogfight role. Marconi Defence and Matra Defense are sharing the MICASRAAM development, weapons trials, aircraft integration tasks and production. In addition to making the bid to the UK MoD on behalf of MICASRAAM, GEC Marconi is examining possible development of a semi-active radar homing MICA or derivative compatible with the Tornado F.3 interceptor and the European Fighter Aircraft, both of which will have the UK company's radar. The weapon would be an alternative to the Hughes AIM-120 AMRAAM and also the Active Skyflash missile being developed by British Aerospace and Thomson-CSF.