Gwalior: Giving the Indian Air Force an much wanted air superiority the first two upgraded Mirage 2000 fighter jets with advanced navigational, radar and missile system landed at Gwalior Air Force Base at 2 PM on April 24.
These aircraft were flown by Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots from France to India via Greece, Egypt and Qatar over a period of seven days.
On the arrival, the two aircrafts were accorded the traditional ‘Water Cannon Salute’. The leader of the team, Captain M Minocha, was welcomed by the Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station Gwalior, Air Commodore HS Basra. The leader also handed over the aircraft documents to the Air Officer Commanding. The twin-seater was flown in by Wing Commander Vivek Sharma and Squadron Leader K Suryanarayanan.
The upgrade enhances the overall capability of aircraft with advanced avionics, weapons and self protection suites. The upgrade contract was signed by IAF with Thales Aeroportes Systems and Dassault Aviation of France in July 2011.
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 others. It also includes a new firing system for Air-to-Air MICA missiles.
The upgraded single-seater fighters have been designated Mirage 2000I and the twin-seat trainer will be known as Mirage 2000TI.