Azerbaijan will buy French MBDA VL Mica air defense systems

A source close to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said that Baku and Paris have agreed in principle that France would supply air defense systems to Azerbaijan, reported the Turan news agency on 11 December. MBDA Systems, manufacturer of the air defense missiles, informed the Turan that negotiations on procurement had begun in 2014. The Azerbaijani side reportedly became acquainted with the tactical and technical data of these systems and was pleased. The value of the transaction was not reported.

Azerbaijan will buy French MBDA VL Mica air defense systems 925
MBDA VL MICA air defense system (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The VL MICA (Vertical Launch MICA) is a short range, ground-based air defense system deploying the MICA fire-and-forget missile, currently the only missile in the world capable of being fitted with either a heatseeking homing head (VL MICA IR) or with an active radar (VL MICA RF). This unique capability ensures an outstanding kill probability, even in severe IRCM-ECM environments.

Organisation of a typical VL MICA unit is based on a vehicle-mounted shelter-protected Tactical Operations Centre (TOC) also known as the Platoon Command Post (PCP). This is capable of carrying out all Command, Control and Coordination functions, including real-time engagement, mission planning, system monitoring and connection with the higher level of command. The TOC remotely controls a tri-dimensional radar mounted on a separate vehicle and three to six vertical launcher units also mounted on vehicles. The VL MICA has a high rate of fire and minimal response time (8 missiles can be launched in just 10 seconds), while the complex is able to simultaneously accompany up to 10 different targets and is controlled by a crew of 2 people. It can intercept a target at an altitude of up to 20 km.