Egypt First International Customer of VL MICA NG

MBDA VL MICA missile

SHAH ALAM: Egypt has become the first international customer of the MBDA VL MICA New Generation (NG) air defence system. MBDA on Feb. 23, 2020 announced it has been awarded a contract from the Egyptian Navy to equip the VL MICA NG for its Gowind corvettes.

Launch of a VL MICA from a ship. MBDA

MBDA release:

MBDA has been awarded a contract from the Egyptian Navy for the VL MICA NG (New Generation) air defence system to equip its Egyptian corvettes.

Officially launched in October 2020, the VL MICA NG system is based on the integration of the MICA NG (New Generation) missile into the existing VL MICA point and close area air defence system.

The VL MICA NG system offers improved capabilities to handle atypical targets (UAVs, small aircraft), as well as future threats characterised by increasingly low observable infrared and radio frequency signatures. Additionally, VL MICA NG will be able to intercept ‘conventional’ targets (aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and anti-ship missiles) at longer distances.

Eric Béranger, MBDA CEO, said: “This agreement proves the confidence of our Egyptian customer in our VL MICA family, which 15 armed forces around the world already use for the protection of their naval and land forces.”

The Egyptian Navy already equips its four Gowind class corvettes, recently procured from the French Naval Group shipyards, with systems from the VL MICA family.

ENS Port Said. Alexandria Shipyard

As mentioned above the Egyptian Navy has four Gowind class corvettes as reported by Malaysian Defence previously. It is likely as our own LCS are completed – when ever that maybe – the RMN will also be procuring the MICA NG for its SAM system.

VL Mica shipboard container. MBDA

Malaysian Defence had previously reported that Boustead Naval Shipyard has procured the VL MICA launchers for the LCS programme although the missiles – which need to be purchased by the Defence Ministry – as with the NSM – had yet to be contracted. Lets hope a decision on the LCS will be made soon.

— Malaysian Defence

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33 Comments

  1. Considering that the first 2 ships are already in service and only the remainder 2 left to commission, does it mean the lead ships had the old VL MICA while the last 2 will get VL MICA NG?

    Reply
    No idea really but it is likely all will get the NG

  2. It all part of the master plan…. by the time the LCS are commissioned in 2040, the RMN will be the launch customer for the VL Mica NNG Block 33! 😬

  3. I could be wrong but let’s finish the first two ships and let’s see from there. I would rather lose 9 billion but got two functional ships rather than lose 6 billion and get nothing at all. The govt could penalise boustead by asking to pay compensation yearly but that is a totally different matter

  4. @Kamal
    We have used up RM 6Bil and remainder left RM 3Bil but at now we need another RM 6Bil to finish (topup RM 3Bil). For this overrun RM 3Bil we could make a deal with Boustead to foot half (RM 1.5Bil).

  5. Kamal- “. The govt could penalise boustead by asking to pay compensation yearly but that is a totally different matter”

    Yes it’s a different matter. Focus should be on the RMN getting its LCSs ASAP. The RMN needs all 6 as getting a mere 6 will leave it in a very difficult position; operational wise.

    Irrespective of the outcome; the taxpayer will pay the penalty. It’s no use penalising BNS if it’s jeopardises its ability to stay afloat; it is the country’s main naval refit yard.

    More importantly there has to be a genuine effort and desire to determine how and where things went so wrong and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

  6. It could be if MICA NG doesnt need new silo to operate..But most likely our LCS will be fiitted with old MICA only to avoid any further cost increase..But for further new ships (excluding LCS, if any), please build 1 or 2 early units at original/builder shipyards or else this conundrum will happen again in the future.

    Reply
    If you read the earlier post you will know that MBDA announced the NG missiles will be compatible with earlier launchers. So there is no issue here. Anyhow when BNS ordered the launchers they purchased for all six ships

  7. So is all the equipments for Lcs already arrived and fully paid for? And where do they store the goods in Malaysia?

    Reply
    Most of the items contracted by BNS are already here. They should be in the various godowns and warehouses inside BNS

  8. @ZekMR
    I don’t even mind us being 5th or whatever comes next as long the new missile have matured and ironed out all issues.

    Again let me say this, we cannot be taking the risk and spending money to be early adopters. We should learn from the bests what works, and only get matured platforms and weapons.

  9. “Anyhow when BNS ordered the launchers they purchased for all six ships”
    Anyway to find out if the launchers are the A-43 or A-50 or A-70 variant?

    Reply
    The one that fit the MICA

  10. “The one that fit the MICA”
    Ya boss. All the launch variants fits VL MICA but like A-43 only can use MICA while A-50 and above can also fit in Aster. Depending on which launcher we got there could be area to upgrade in future or not. Is there anyway to know which launcher variant we got, boss?

  11. @marhalim
    What i mean is our LCS is build to carry 16 SAM each . So if we didn’t have a lot of money we just need to buy 8 mica ng per ship for area defence n d rest r d old mica for point defence. Or both of them cost d same, then no need for my plan.
    OTOH is Mr… banned forever from this blog. I hope you can forgive him Mr marhalim sir.I learn a lot from him to be honest. I know he can be annoying sometimes 😂😂😂but thats probably because he just to passionate. But whatever your decision is i going to respect your judgement. TY

  12. Ujang – “A combination of 8mica n 8mica”

    The OEM at one stage will probably only be producing Mica NG and why – even if we could – would we want to have 2 different types of missiles?

    On another matter; amidst all this talk about missiles (I know people are interested and excited); I’d like to point out that the missile is actually secondary … It’s the early warning and the ship being networked with other assets that’s vital – earth warning and networking determines everything;

    The missile itself is also only part of the equation; there ideally should also be a soft kill option which goes beyond chaff. Another question that really remains be seen (hope we never find out for real) is despite being a capable point defence system; how effective is Mica against a low flying supersonic threat?

  13. Ujang – “buy 8 mica ng per ship for area defence n d rest r d old mica for point defence”

    – It has a “maximum” range of 40km; which still doesn’t make it an “area” defence weapon. The 40km ‘maximum’ range will also depend on various factors; not all engagements will be taken at “maximum” range.

    – To have an “area” defence capability will entail not only a missile with ‘x’ range but also a long range radar.

    – Given that there are only 16 cells and not all cells will be loaded; it makes more operational sense to have all the cells fitted with the better performing variant of the two; the NG.

  14. @azlan
    1.cost.a jump from 20km range 2 40km range would not come cheap n this is on top of d 1.5b USD that we need 2 spend to complete d LCS.A mix between vl mica n vl mica ng would help to keep d cost down.why would we need all 16 to be ng anyway since there always going to be a leaker.dis is where d old mica come in.so now we have a double layer of defence without breaking the bank.
    2.commonility.a mica ng is based on vl mica so i think that they would be a lot of similarities between these two.If it’s true than maintanence would not become a big problem. I could be wrong of course.

  15. Ujang – “cost.a jump from 20km range 2 40km range would not come cheap”

    – Only 8 missiles provides a neither here nor here capability. On top of that Mica is a ship’s main means of defending against aerial threats : something we should not be tight fisted about. Bear in mind also that there’s only a 16 cell VLS.

    – Range is relative. Range mentioned in a catalogue and actual range possible in an operational scenario can differ greatly. Early warning and networking is the key.

    Ujang – “ where d old mica come in.so now we have a double layer of defence without breaking the bank”

    The “double layer” is provided by the main gun and chaff. And jamming if we add the capability.

    Ujang – “than maintanence would not become a big problem”

    They come in capsules and apart from certain periodic checks; there is no maintenance. With the VLS itself; the only thing is to check nitrogen levels.

  16. By the look of it, by the time rhe LCS are completed the MICA ng would be outdated

    Reply
    The target date for the MICA NG is 2025/2026

  17. @joe

    Risk taker (after thorough planning) – thats what we are well known, at least in this region.

    Scorpene, Su-30MKM, MM-38 Exocet and Radpanzer Condor back in 80’s, A400M, among some other things.

    We are the earliest user, sometimes the first buyer, am I right sir.

  18. @ZekMR
    And the only user of PT91 MBT in Asia! To this date, I can’t digest why in the world did our Paramount Leader (then) buy that MBT!

  19. If LCS are able to equipped with MICA NG, I don’t see a concern on networking & connectivity. Modern ships are designed for that purpose anyways. The Smart S radar has max range of 250km with stealth detection range at 50km. Automating point defences, the MICA NG with 40km range could deal with such threats at detection extremities and close up the Smart S can slew the Bofors 57mm (which has specific dual roles) to also deal with stealth sea skimmers.

  20. On the subject of “firsts” (not that it’s important in the overall scheme of things); of the original ASEAN members; we were the first to have a bullpup, the first to have a medium range SARH, the first to have GRP hull MCMCV, the first to have fast attack
    craft powered by turbines and the first to have the E and H variants of the F-5 and C-130.

    As long as it suits our operational needs and long as key enablers are met; it’s alright to be the first or only operator of stuff.

  21. ZekMR – “Scorpene, Su-30MKM, MM-38 Exocet and Radpanzer Condor back in 80’s, A400M”

    – By the time we ordered Scorpene development had been completed for some time and Chile was the first customer.

    – Not much risk associated with the Su-30 as it was already a mature design operated in numbers. We merely created a new variant unique to us.

    – We were not the first MM-38 buyer and when we bought it; it was already operated by several countries.

    – A400M. We bought it before it was ready for export but the fact that it had Airbus’s resources behind it and that many had ordered it meant that the risk to us was minimal.

    As long as stuff meets our requirements and other conditions are met; it’s not necessarily risky to be the first to buy something or something which is not wifely operated.

    We’ve had issues with stuff that has been around for quite a while and was widely operated. It really depends. By the same token we should never assume that just because something is widely and successfully operated by others; that it will be the same for us.

  22. Taib – “I can’t digest why in the world did our Paramount Leader (then) buy that MBT!”

    Because the Poles offered us offsets including horse stud technology amongst other things and we were looking at further business opportunities with Poland. The army’s favourite was actually the T-84 which was being pushed by Deftech. Bumar Laberdy had brought a T-72 here as far back as LIMA 1997.

  23. @ZekMR
    We are also the first users of many things that didn’t work or didn’t last as advertised. What good did that brought us?

  24. @ZekMR
    More often its not when we’re the first users. I’d prefer we spend money to get proven/matured systems rather than trying to be one step ahead of others. With the meagre budget we have, we cannot afford to fail just to try something out.

  25. ZekMR – “Sometimes its good enough, value for money”

    Indeed. It all boils down to ensuring we get stuff which suits our requirements and stuff we can afford to run for the duration of the service live. The Fulcrums and Laksamanas are prime examples of stuff which didn’t suit our requirements and didn’t provide a solid long term return of investment.

    We’ve had mixed success with our procurement history. Up until the late 1980’s we mostly bought stuff for its utility. In the 1990’s we started basing procurement on political factors in a major way; the result is what we have now.

    Although the 5/16 and CAP are PR exercises and are flawed as well as unrealistic; both have got something right : the need to adopt greater interoperability and commonality; to lower the logistical/support footprint.

  26. “although the missiles – which need to be purchased by the Defence Ministry – as with the NSM – had yet to be contracted. \” I thought NSM deals was in order. What does this mean? Had yet to be contracted?

    Reply
    Nothing to do with the NSM

  27. Taib,

    Yes. It wasn’t the clinching factor but it was one of the things offered by the Poles.

    The army’s ceremonial mounted unit also started off with Polish horses.

  28. Lkick,

    Unless I’m mistaken; what Marhalm means is that like ESM; MICA has to be ordered by Mundef. BNS can and did order most of the stuff for the LCSs but the missiles have to be ordered by MINDEF.

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