MBDA has unveiled an integrated air-defense system combining the Short-Range Air Defense Mistral and VL MICA missiles. The two systems are controlled from a unified, Improved Missile Control Post (IMCP) which integrates, both system’s command and control within a single shelter. According to MBDA, the new integrated system has already been selected by a first customer with first deliveries expected in 2014.
The new system comprises the new Platoon Command Post (PCP) – a modular command system derived from the VL MICA Tactical Operations Centre (TOC), which handles command, control and coordination of multi-layer, tactical air defense assets. The system also interfaces with a 3D radar capable of detecting and identifying aerial targets at ranges of 80 km.
PCP establishes such multi-layer surface-to-air defense units by linking Very Short Range (VSHORAD) Mistral and short-range (SHORAD) VL MICA missile launchers. The system interfaces with air space coordination elements, and provides self-coordination with similar command and control systems operating with neighboring units.
The detection, identification and tracking functions are carried out via a link to the IMCP which, in this case, is completely remote-controlled by one of the three operators manning the PCP. The IMCP is an evolution of the Mistral Coordination Post (MCP). MBDA has sold over 40 MCP systems.
MBDA has recently announced the first sale of an air-defense configuration of its mobile, multi-purpose combat vehicle (MPCV), mounting the Mistral very short range air defense (VSHORAD) system. The MPCV turret will be integrated within the customer’s existing air defense architecture which already uses the Mistral systems. The first series production MPCV vehicle should be delivered as of 2013.
The final qualification of the MPCV was commenced by France’s Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA’s) in 2010 at the missile test firing center at Biscarosse in the Landes region of France. This phase culminated in an extensive series of test firings demonstrating the system’s ability in countering multiple targets representing a saturating air attack. The tests were witnessed by several foreign delegations.