Two upgraded Mirage 2000 handed over to India in France

The first two upgraded Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft with advanced navigational, radar and missile system were on Wednesday handed over to India here.

PTI| Updated: Mar 25, 2015, 19:53 PM IST

Istres: The first two upgraded Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft with advanced navigational, radar and missile system were on Wednesday handed over to India here.

The entire fleet of 48 aircraft is being upgraded with the help of French defence major Dassault Aviation and Thales under a Rs 10,000 crore deal signed in July 2011.

The mid-life upgrade is expected to extend the life cycle of the aircraft by another 10-15 years.

While the deal was signed for 51 aircraft, at least four have crashed since then.

Technologically ambitious and based on the integration of the latest generation equipment and systems, the first phase of the programme was completed on schedule.

The rest of the fleet will be upgraded in Bangalore under the responsibility of HAL with the complete support and involvement of Dassault Aviation and Thales teams, the French firms, who are the original manufacturers.

The maiden flight of its first upgraded Mirage 2000 was completed successfully by Dassault Aviation on October 5, 2013, following a two-year development phase dedicated to the equipment kit provided by Thales including the radar, the electronic warfare suite and the mission computer.

The upgrades on the aircraft include a night vision goggle-compatible glass cockpit, advanced navigational systems, advanced Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, advanced multi-mode multi-layered radar, fully integrated electronic warfare suite besides others.

It also includes a new firing system for Air-to-Air MICA missiles.

The handing over ceremony of the aircraft was attended by Indian Ambassador to France Arun K Singh along with IAF personnel.

Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation Chairman and CEO, and Pierre Eric Pommellet, Thales Executive Vice President, Defence Mission Systems, were also present.

"We are trusted partners of the Indian armed forces and have developed a strong local supply chain which helped us to make the upgrade of the Mirage 2000 a real success story. We are ready to continue developing this team work in the future," Pommellet said.