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India upgrades 51 Mirage 2000 aircraft

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Aug 4, IRNA -- The upgrade of the 51 Mirage 2000 aircraft in the Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet will be completed within the next ten years, said India’s Defence Minister, A K Antony.

'The upgrade is expected to be completed within a period ten years from the date of signing the contract,' Antony said in a written response in Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament).

Indian and French companies Dassault Aviation and Thales had signed a deal worth Rs 10,947 crore to upgrade the IAF fleet of Mirage 2000 aircraft, which will help in extending the life of the war planes by another over two decades.

As per the proposal, the first two aircraft would be sent to France for upgrade by the two companies and the rest would be done by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at its facilities in Bangalore.

The upgrade will enhance the avionics as well as the weapons delivery capability of the aircraft, the Minister said.

India had inducted the fleet of Mirages in the mid-80s and only three aircraft of it have been lost to accidents in the last over two and a half decades.

The proposal to upgrade the aircraft was hanging fire for quite some time as India was engaged in long negotiations with the French companies on several issues including the cost of the upgrades.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30506711

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