Europe advances on joint Mistral 3 air defense missile acquisition

France, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia and Hungary have signed a framework cooperation arrangement for the joint acquisition of the Mistral 3 ground-based air defense, European missile developer MBDA group announced in a press release Wednesday.

Supervised by the DGA and with backing from MBDA, this agreement provides partner nations with an enhanced procurement process tailored to meet the needs of their armed forces. Following the lead of the initial five countries, numerous other states have expressed keen interest in joining this collaboration.

MBDA CEO Eric Béranger said the cooperation is a major step forward in strengthening the defense 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 defense industrial base.”

Mistral 3, which is currently in service with the French Army and many other users, is an air defense 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 defense 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.

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