Mica missile
The Indian Air Force has tested Mica air-to-air missiles from upgraded Mirage 2000. [Representative Image] In Picture: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 fighters take off during a joint air exercise in the central Indian city of Gwalior on 25 February 2004.Reuters

As tensions simmer between India and Pakistan, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has test-fired air-to-air Mica missiles from the upgraded Mirage 2000 aircraft.

India carried out the successful test-fire of the Mica missiles, which were newly acquired from France. The Mica missiles are known to have high level of tactical flexibility with multi-mission, multi-target Beyond Visual Range (BVR) capability. It is also known to perform well in Enhanced Short Range (SR). Mica missiles are known to have an operational range of 50 km.

The IAF tested the Mica missile from a manoeuvring target released from the upgraded Mirage 2000 aircraft. The Mica missile directly hit the target that was not only flying at a lower altitude but also was smaller than the missile, PTI reported.

The success of the test augments the IAF's critical BVR capability. The test also validated the launch envelop of the missile.

India had finalised a deal with France to upgrade all of its Mirage 2000 aircraft to the most advanced variant of Mirage 2000, the Mirage 2000-5 Mark 2. The new Mirage 2000-5 Mark 2 variant boasts new radar systems, a new weapon suite, missiles, electronic warfare system and modern electronic warfare.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) on September 22 had closed major highways and practised landing jets on the road. However, the PAF dismissed suggestions that this exercise had anything to do with the heightened situation with India over the Kashmir dispute and called it a routine training exercise.