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SOURCE: MBDA

At a weekly press briefing on Thursday 18 March, a spokesperson for the French Ministry of the Armed Forces highlighted the order placed for 367 MICA NG next-generation interception, combat and self-defence missiles. The order – welcomed by the Armed Forces Minister and notified to MBDA by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) on 5 March – provides for the delivery of 367 MICA NGs between 2028 and 2031.

Under the programme, implemented as part of the 2019-2025 military programming law, a total of 567 MICA NGs are planned. This figure includes 200 already ordered from MBDA by the DGA at the end of 2018, for delivery from 2026 onwards. The MICA NGs will upgrade the medium-range interception, close combat and self-protection capabilities of French Air Force and Navy Rafales.

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SOURCE: Air Recognition

At the end of January 2021, the DGA Flight Tests center of expertise carried out compatibility tests on the Thales Scorpion helmet sight at the Cazaux site (Gironde) with the parachute evacuation of a Rafale pilot. This test campaign is part of the process of integrating this equipment on the Rafale to the F4 standard.

The parachute evacuation compatibility tests, carried out before the first Rafale flights, reproduce all the Rafale pilot’s rescue and survival phases, from his ejection from the aircraft to his survival in an aquatic environment. These tests validate that the new equipment does not interfere with the safety and rescue operations of the pilot.
After the successful completion by DGA Techniques aeronautiques of a series of ground tests, on equipment and mannequin only, DGA Flight Tests thus developed and carried out a test campaign comprising:

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SOURCE: News18

A Ukrainian Air Force MiG-29 fighter was damaged after a car drove into it, the Ukrainian military and local media reported. The Air Command Centre said in a statement that a car collided with the jet while it was being towed to an aircraft parking lot, resulting in a fire. It gave no more details. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are still using Soviet-designed aircraft and other military equipment, with plans to eventually move to NATO standards.

Local media reported that the fighter, based at an air base near the capital Kyiv, received significant damage to its engine and fuselage. Reports further suggest that the accident occurred when a drunk armed forces officer rammed his SUV in the jet, that was being towed away to the hanger.

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SOURCE: Air Recognition

As part of the ramp-up of the Rafale F3-R, the French Air and Space Army has just made its first operational flight with a Rafale equipped with METEOR missiles. The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Introduced in 2001, the Rafale is being produced for both the French Air Force and for carrier-based operations in the French Navy.

The Rafale has been marketed for export to several countries, and was selected for purchase by the Indian Air Force, the Egyptian Air Force, and the Qatar Air Force. The Rafale has been used in combat over Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq and Syria.

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