THALES TO UPGRADE 51 INDIAN MIRAGE AIRCRAFT FOR $2 BILLION
By Bulbul Singh
07 May 08. While the Indian Air Force is on a global hunt to buy 126 Multirole Medium Combat Aircraft, the Indian Air Force has decided to go ahead with the upgrade of its existing Mirage 2000-H aircraft at a cost of over $2 billion. Quotes for the upgrade have been invited from Thales of France, which has been designated as the lead agency of Dassault of France, the OEM of the aircraft.
Thales and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited [HAL] will jointly upgrade the 51 Indian Air Force Mirage 2000-H aircraft; Thales has been asked to give quotes for various segments of the upgrade
Besides the upgrade of all the 51 Mirages, the Indian Force will also acquire Ground Support Equipment and Ground Handling Equipment.
It is proposed that the upgrade will be carried out in two phases. The standard of preparation of the aircraft in the respective phases is as follows:
(a)The first is the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) which would essentially provide the aircraft with enhanced Air-to-Air capability. The upgrade will retain the existing proven systems and no major modifications are envisaged for to the flight control and electrical system. Additionally, the lead agency for the OEMs is required to provide the data pack upgrade to HAL to undertake series modifications by no later than 30 months after the contract is signed.
The equipment that would need to be integrated in the IOC configuration is as follows:
* Multi-mode multi-target RDFY-3 or better radar.
* RLG-based IN GPS (Totem 3000)
* New Modular Data Processing Unit
* 1553B and DIGIBUS data buses
* Internal enhanced EW system controller and EW data loaders
* Glass cockpit
* Improved HOTAS
* Smart HUD with Up Front Control Panel
* Solid-state digital data video recorder capable of recording information from a minimum of four cockpit displays, voice recording and databus recording.
* Modifications of the fuselage stations to carry Mica Air-to-Air missiles and modifications of outer wing stations to carry Mica missiles. Capability of the aircraft to carry six missiles and drop tanks.
* Swing Role capability
* Hardware and software provisions for precision guided weapons and air-to-surface missiles
* Upgrade of the twin seat aircraft to ensure that all operational roles are possible with duplicated controls and displays. An LCD colour repeater display in the rear cockpit to display the HUD imagery,
* Integration of a Digital Map Generator.
* NVG compatibility of the cockpit.
* Provision to carry existing Electronic Warfare pods
* The flight Data Recorder should have provision for data extraction compatible with the upgraded equipment and aircraft parameters.
(b) In addition to the above, hardware and software provisions would need to be made in the IOC phase for the proposed equipment to be integrated by HAL, to achieve the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) configuration. Assistance from Dassault to carry out the series upgrade, as well as implementation of the FOC configuration. The FOC configuration will include the following:
* Integration of Crystal Maze missile
* Integration of a User-Specified Counter Measure Dispensing System.
* Integration of User-Furnished ACMI pod
* Integration of User-Furnished Lightening LDP.
* Integration of User-Furnished DASH helmet
* Provisions for integration of a User-Furnished Operational Data Link.
As part of the contract, the Indian Air Force will receive four Mirage 2000-H aircraft upgraded by Dassault, under their responsibility in France. The first two aircraft are to be delivered, after upgrade and certification, within 36 months of signing of the contract. The third and fourth aircraft would also be upgraded under Dassault’s responsibility at the HAL facility in India. While undertaking the upgrade of the third and fourth aircraft, the OEMs are required to provide on-the-Job Training to HAL personnel to carry out the s