Interview | Country Head, MBDA Group, India, Loïc Piedevache

‘The JV represents an exciting new development for MBDA and India as it provides the ideal vehicle for advancing the “Make in India” strategy’

Country Head, MBDA Group, India, Loïc Piedevache

Can you elaborate on the missile solutions (MICA, Meteor, ASRAAM) already in service or will enter service with the Indian Air Force?

MICA was ordered for the Indian Air Force (IAF’s) Mirage 2000 upgrade. It is also a weapon system closely associated with the Rafale. This is the only missile in the world featuring two interoperable seekers (active radar and imaging infrared) to cover the spectrum from close-in dogfight to long beyond visual range. Its ability to fly out to BVR in passive mode before the seeker locks on in the final stages of the end-game has earned it the sobriquet ‘silent killer’ as the target has little time to react or to deploy effective countermeasures. Already flying on the IAF’s upgraded Mirage 2000s, MICA gives the IAF a significant advantage in its overall air combat ability.

ASRAAM has been selected for the IAF’s Jaguar bomber fleet which is undergoing its upgrade to the new Darin III standard. This highly advanced short range air-to-air weapon features exceptionally fast speed off the launch rail that not only provides safe separation from the Jaguar’s above-wing pylons, it also guarantees ‘first shot first kill’ to avoid getting involved in a dogfight. As the Jaguar is a low-flying aircraft, threats will most likely come from more agile fighters with altitude superiority, ASRAAM offers a major advantage here with its unmatched ‘snap-up’ capability, namely its ability to rapidly divert upwards once fired.

Meteor, referred to as the game-changing missile by air forces around the world, is a six-European nation programme that will provide the key future BVR air-to-air armament for Europe’s new generation of combat platforms. It will also feature among the suite of weapons carried by the IAF’s Rafale fleet. This missile’s very long range combined with its ramjet-induced speed, result in a weapon that has an unequalled No Escape Zone. In fact, Meteor has been designed to be many times superior to the most sophisticated current and emerging Medium Range Air to Air Missile (MRAAMs) threat. The advanced technology contained within Meteor controls speed and fuel consumption throughout the flight envelope. This ensures that maximum power and hence agility are maintained at the extremes of range where other MRAAMs have long since ceased being effective. As well as showing off MBDA’s mastery of the most advanced technologies, Meteor is vivid proof of the Company’s skill in managing international cooperative programmes.


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