MLA (Airborne Micro Launcher)
Benefits of airborne launch led Dassault Aviation to study a micro launcher, borne by a combat aircraft.
Two versions have been considered, all using an operational Rafale as carrier aircraft:
- A “single body linear version” (a solid propellant stage and a liquid propellant stage) to launch 75 kg in low Earth orbit;
- “Trimaran version” (one central body and two solid propellant first stage boosters) to launch microsatellites up to 150 kg into an 800 km sun synchronous orbit.
The MLA would constitute a responsive launch system well adapted to “Defense and Security” needs.