The Spanish Council of Ministers has approved the Agreement authorizing the conclusion of the contract for the modernization of the Mistral anti-aircraft artillery weapons system. With the modernization of this light short-range missile system, which provides highly-effective defense against an extended range of aerial targets (fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, anti-ship missiles or different types of drones or Unmanned Aircraft Systems – UAS). This includes the acquisition of 522 Mistral 3 missiles and the equipment associated with their management, the necessary anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense capacity of the Armed Forces will be updated, improved and enhanced. The Framework Agreement has an estimated value of €324,664,793.
The Missile Transportable Anti-aérien Léger (English: Transportable lightweight anti-air missile), commonly called Mistral, is a French infrared homing short range air defense (SHORAD) system manufactured by MBDA France (formerly by Matra Defence and then Matra BAe Dynamics). Based on the French SATCP (Sol-Air à Très Courte Portée), the portable missile later to become the Mistral began development in 1974. Mistral is a short-range air defense (SHORAD) missile system that can be used from vehicles, surface ships, and helicopters, as well as in a portable configuration. It was initially deployed in 1988 for the first version (S1), 1997 for the second version (Mistral 2), and 2019 for the third version (Mistral 3).
Mistral 3 is the latest version of a long success story that began in the early 90s, perfectly adapted to today’s and future threats. When used in the MANPADS role the “Mistral” missile is transported in a transport and launch container (MPC) together with “friend or foe” interrogator, power source and tripod with its sighting devices. They are then to be operated by a pair of crew as commander and the shooter. There are also launch units that allow the missile to be fired from armoured vehicles, ships or helicopters. To defeat flares ejected from the rear of a targeted aircraft, proportional navigation using a gyro as a reference is adopted for Mistral, instead of the pursuit method in earlier IR-guided MANPADS.
The MCP (Mistral Coordination Post) is designed to be used with a portable Mistral system, ATLAS, ALBI or MPCV systems and also used as part of MBDA Mistral missile Ground Based Air Defense (GBAD) systems for air defense of military units and important facilities. The MCP provides target designation and fire control for eleven Mistral firing unit, ALBI, ATLAS or MPCV air defense systems. A close-in weapon system based on Mistral is a six-missile version called Sadral, with a stabilized rapid-reload launcher that is fully automated. A two-missile unit installed on ships is called Simbad, and a newly launched four-missile version is called Tetral. An evolution of the Simbad is now proposed: Simbad RC. Both Tetral and Simbad RC are remote controlled from the ship’s deck.