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Monday, March 23, 2015

Amid stalled fighter projects, upgraded Mirage cheers IAF

Mirage 2000CFaced with huge delays in clinching new fighter projects even as it grapples with fast-eroding air combat power, IAF finally has some reason to cheer. The force will get its first two upgraded Mirage-2000 fighters with new avionics and weapons this week.

The defence ministry says France will hand over the two "almost new" Mirage fighters to the project management teams of IAF and Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) on March 25. "Our teams are in Istres to take the delivery. The next two jets will be upgraded by HAL in India with French assistance," said an official.

The remaining 47 Mirages, which were first inducted by India in the mid-1980s, will then be progressively souped up by HAL with technology transfer from France under the overall Rs 17,547 crore programme finalized in 2011-2012.

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