IAF’s first up­graded Mi­rage 2000 takes off

SP's MAI - - FRONT PAGE -

Over two years af­ter the $2.9-bil­lion deal was signed, the In­dian Air Force’s (IAF) first up­graded Mi­rage 2000 multi-role fighter made its de­but flight in its new avatar on Oc­to­ber 5 at the Istres Air Base in France. In July 2011, the In­dian Min­istry of De­fence (MoD) signed a deal with Das­sault Aviation, Thales and the Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Ltd (HAL) to up­grade 51 Mi­rage 2000 H/TH fighters from three IAF squadrons in Gwalior with new avion­ics, the Thales RDY-2 multi-mode radar and MBDA Mica air-to-air mis­siles.

Das­sault sources said the flight was suc­cess­ful and that all sys­tems were checked out per­fectly. The flight was pi­loted by a Das­sault test pi­lot who re­ported that the up­grade made the air­craft in line with the ‘Dash-5’ con­fig­u­ra­tion, push­ing the Mi­rage 2000 to the up­per strata of fourth-gen­er­a­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties, with a rudi­men­tary swing-role ca­pa­bil­ity as well.

Most of the Mi­rages will be up­graded by HAL un­der li­cence in Bengaluru.

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