Aerial Warfare

France Belgium Cyprus Estonia and Hungary Advance on Joint Acquisition of Mistral 3

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France Belgium Cyprus Estonia and Hungary Advance on Joint Acquisition of Mistral 3

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France Belgium Cyprus Estonia and Hungary Advance on Joint Acquisition of Mistral 3
France Belgium Cyprus Estonia and Hungary Advance on Joint Acquisition of Mistral 3

France, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia and Hungary have signed a framework co-operation arrangement for the joint acquisition of the Mistral 3 ground-based air defence system on 19 June. Managed by the French Procurement agency (Direction générale de l’armement, DGA) with MBDA support, the arrangement gives partner nations access to an improved acquisition process that meets armed forces’ requirements. Following in the steps of the first five countries, several other states have also indicated their strong interest in this co-operation.

Eric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, said: “This co-operation is a major step forward in strengthening the defence capabilities of the European Union and its member states, contributing to collective security and sovereignty. This agreement will drive efficiencies and enhance the resilience of the European defence industrial base.”

Mistral 3
Mistral 3 short range air defense (SHORAD). (Photo by MBDA)

The Mistral (Missile Transportable Anti-aérien Léger, Transportable lightweight anti-air missile) is a French infrared homing short range air defense 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 development of the portable system later to become the Mistral began in 1974. The first version of the system was introduced in 1988 (S1), the second in 1997 (Mistral 2), and the third in 2018 (Mistral 3).

Mistral 3, which is currently in service with the French Army and many other users, is an air defence missile that has an infrared imaging seeker and advanced image processing capabilities. With an over 96% success rate and the best reliability of all current ground-launched short-range air defence systems, it has the ability to engage targets with low thermal signatures, such as drones, turbojet-powered missiles and fast attack craft from long distances.

Mistral 3 short range air defense (SHORAD). (Photo by MBDA)
Mistral 3 short range air defense (SHORAD). (Photo by MBDA)

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