French Air Force Mirage 2000 Upgrade Nearly Similar To That Of IAF Mirages

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  • 01:02 PM, August 1, 2016
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French Air Force Mirage 2000 Upgrade Nearly Similar To That Of IAF Mirages
French Air Force Mirage 2000-5F fighter (Image: Dennis Spronk)

The French defense procurement agency (DGA) recently awarded Dassault a contract for mid-life upgrade (MLU) of its Mirage 2000D fighters which looks similar to the upgrade program carried on the Indian Air Force (IAF) Mirage 2000 Fighters.

Under the DGA contract, the aircraft will be upgraded with new automatic cannon, MBDA MICA IR short and medium range air to air missile replacing the existing MBDA Magic 550 besides improved avionics.

Indian Air Force last Thursday flew its first upgraded Mirage 2000 aircraft. 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 some others others.

IAF upgrade also includes Thales RDY 2 radar, which allows for long-range engagement of targets in the air, automatic tracking of targets, mapping of targets on the ground using Doppler beam-sharpening techniques, and the ability to track and engage targets which are moving on the ground, NDTV reported in March this year.

The MICA missile selected for the French AF Mirage upgrade also arms the Rafale fighter selected by the IAF. It has also been found in the upgraded IAF Mirage 2000 fighters.

Non-upgraded Mirage 2000s in the IAF presently use the Super R-530D to hit aerial targets at long ranges and the Magic II missile for short-range engagements. In January 2012, the Indian government had signed a $1.23 billion contract with the French firm MBDA for the supply of 450 MICA missiles.

The total design and development was done by HAL which includes mission computer hardware, OFP software, system design, aircraft modification etc. The Company is responsible for the IOC and FOC upgrade of the Mirage fleet of IAF, HAL said in a statement Friday.

The French aircraft upgrade will be carried out on 55 of the 63 Mirage 2000D operated by France. Five of these fighters are currently part of the 14 aircraft deployed by France to provide air support in Iraq and Syria in the fight against Anti-Islamic State, aviationanalysis reported in July, 2016.

The Indian Air Force signed INR 10,947 crore (US $1.6 billion) contract to upgrade its entire fleet of 51 Mirage 2000 fighters in July 2011. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has flown the first Final Operational Configuration (FOC) upgraded Mirage-2000 aircraft last Thursday.

The initial operation configuration (IOC) was designed by the Dassault and Thales of France. Stating that HAL took up the FOC design and development activities, the company said the FOC configuration covers the integration of Indian specific weapons, sensors and electronic warfare system.

HAL would upgrade the remaining 49 Mirage 2000s without assistance, fitting in upgrade kits provided by Dassault and Thales. HAL said the total design and development was done by the company which includes mission computer hardware, OFP (Operational Flight Program) software, system design and aircraft modification.

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