Five European states sign LoI to buy Mistral air defence systems

Estonia, Belgium, Cyprus, France, and Hungary have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to purchase the Mistral air defence systems through a joint procurement, allowing the countries to save costs and speed up delivery.

Under the co-operation agreement aigned, France has been granted the authority to conduct joint procurement on behalf of all participating nations, with the expectation of reaching an agreement with the French company MBDA in the coming autumn.

Also, France’s defence ministry has recently confirmed that it could order 1,000 Mistral short-range air defence missiles worth about 500 million euros ($545.6 million) as part of a joint purchase with four other European states.

The Mistral air defence missiles are built by the company MBDA. Airbus (AIR.PA) and BAE Systems each have stakes of 37.5% in MBDA, while Italian company Leonardo has a 25% stake.

About Mistral  air defence systems

Mistral is a short-range air defence (SHORAD) missile system that can be used from vehicles, surface ships, and helicopters, as well as in a portable configuration.

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. 

Specifications of Mistral  air defence systems

Mass: 19.7 kg

Length: 1.86 m

Diameter: 90 mm

Crew: 1

Effective firing range: up to 6 km

7+ km (Mistral-3)

Warhead: High Explosive with high density tungsten balls

Warhead weight: 2.95 kg 

Detonation mechanism: Laser proximity or impact triggered

Engine: Solid Rocket Motor, 2-stage

Maximum speed: 930 m/s, approx. Mach 2.71 (high supersonic)[3]

Guidance system: Infrared homing

Specification Source: and

Image Courtesy: