Saturday, May 28, 2011

India OKs $2.1B Upgrade for 51 Mirage Aircraft

India's top acquisition body has cleared a $2.1 billion deal to upgrade 51 Dassault Mirage 2000H aircraft, ending a four-year wait.

A Mirage 2000 jet fighter takes off from Nancy-Ochey, France. India will spend $2.1 billion to upgrade 51 Dassault Mirage 2000H aircraft. (File photo / Agence France-Presse)

At its May 19 meeting, the Cabinet Committee of Security (CCS) agreed to the French proposal to allow only French missiles on the upgraded Mirage aircraft, ruling out a proposal to arm the planes with Israeli missiles, said a Defence Ministry source.

A contract is expected within three months, and the program is to be complete within five years after that.

Under the deal, lead integrator Thales and Dassault will upgrade four Mirages in France, then help India's state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) perform the work on the other 47. MBDA will help deliver a variety of missiles for the upgrade.

The upgrade includes replacing the avionics with two mission computers, an advanced navigation system, and pulse doppler radar that can look down to detect targets through clutter out to 70 nautical miles.

The new glass cockpit will come with two lateral displays and an advanced head-down display. The upgraded radar warning receiver will have an instantaneous wide bank receiver and an integrated missile approach warning receiver that can provide continuous information on time to impact. A new jammer will be able to handle multiple surveillance acquisition radars. Other new gear will include a digital video recorder, data transfer system, and simulation systems.

The upgraded aircraft will be able to carry four beyond-visual-range missiles and other missiles and smart ammunition.

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