Indian Su-30MKIs to be equipped with French MICA air-to-air missiles

According to the site newindianexpress.com, the Indian Air Force would have carried out a test campaign with live fire against aerial targets of the MICA air-to-air missile from one of its Sukhoi Su-30MKI heavy fighters, concurrently with the tests of the new Russian missile R-77. Following these tests, the IAF announced that the French missile would soon equip, in addition to the Rafale and Mirage 2000 i planes, its Su-30MKIs, in order to strengthen the interception and air combat capabilities of the fighter today forming the backbone of Indian air power. The will of the Indian General Staff to equip an aircraft of Russian origin with a European missile is not new, since the question was raised in 2016, when India acquired almost 500 MICA missiles. with MBDA to equip its modernized Mirage 2000, and that in February 2019, the IAF had announced equip its same Su-30MKI with the British ASRAAM short-range Air-Air missile from the same European missile ship MBDA.

But it's probably theBalakot aerial engagement above Kashemir which led the IAF to accelerate its program to equip its Su-30 with the French missile. Indeed, on February 26, 2019, twenty Pakistani fighters were opposed to ten Indian aircraft, in what will remain the most important air combat of the last 20 years, resulting in the loss of an F16D on the Pakistani side and of a Mig21 Bison on the Indian side. During this engagement, two modernized Mirage 2000s, each equipped with 6 MICA missiles, faced 4 Pakistani JF-17s escorting 4 mirage V and 4 mirage III, and succeeded in forcing their adversaries to fire their air-to-surface missiles beyond their maximum range, and to turn around, thanks to the missile's engagement capabilities coupled with the RDY 2 radar of the Mirage 2000 in a combat beyond visual range (BVR). At the same time, a pair of Su-30MKI did the same against 4 F16C and 4 F16D, without succeeding in obtaining sufficiently valid shooting solutions with their AA-12 'Adder' (RVV-AE), but in forcing the F16Cs to fire their AIM-120 C5s at maximum engagement distance, with extremely low chance of hitting their target.

In its air superiority configuration, the Mirage 2000-5 like the Indian 2000 i carries 4 radar guided MICAs and 2 infrared guided MICAs, as well as two or three additional cans as needed.

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