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French seek urgent reinforcement for air defence umbrella

29th June 2022 - 10:55 GMT | by Jean-Marc Tanguy in Paris


Too late to the party: VL MICA NG will not be ready in time to meet an urgent French requirement but its VL MICA predecessor is a more viable option. (Photo: Jean-Marc Tanguy)

France needs a new interim addition to its air defence arsenal, particularly as the Crotale NG SHORAD missile is due for retirement by 2025 — could VL MICA fit the bill?

The VL MICA medium-range system from MBDA has emerged as the favourite candidate to reinforce the French air defence umbrella in answer to an urgent operational requirement, Shephard understands.

While MBDA declined to comment on whether VL MICA will be selected — and it is unclear, at this stage, which branch of the French armed forces would receive the missiles —  the French MoD has been looking for an interim solution for several months, and with a growing sense of urgency since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Currently, the French armed forces operate three layers of air defence based on

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Jean-Marc Tanguy


Jean-Marc Tanguy

Jean-Marc Tanguy started its career in journalism on 1991 and focussed quickly on defence matters …

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