In a display of high technical competence and self-dependence, India has successfully upgraded the Mirage 2000 fleet of the Indian Air Force. The mid-life Final Operational Configuration (FOC) upgrade was done in a record time of eight months by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a public sector manufacturer.
According to HAL, “This upgrade for the Mirage 2000 gives additional capabilities of air to ground weapon, training, helmet mounted display etc. The system having a unique feature of integrating different types of data bus for Initial Operational Configured and Final Operation Configuration is achieved without any degradation. The total design and development was done by HAL which includes mission computer hardware, OFP software, system design, aircraft modification etc.”
T. Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL said, “We have done it again on time. It proves HAL’s capability of mid-life upgrade of platforms to overcome obsolescence issues, enhance the reliability and maintainability of these aircraft. The introduction of state of the art facility created for this project ensures the timely upgrade of the Mirage fleet.”
The Indian Air Force currently has 33 active fighter squadrons. Whereas, the sanctioned strength is 42 squadrons. In general, one squadron constitutes 18 fighter jets.