Thursday, February 08, 2007

A consortium of French defence and aerospace companies led by Thales has put in a formal bid for upgrading the Mirage 2000 fighters of the Indian Air Force (IAF).A team from Thales met with defence ministry officials last week to discuss the finer points of the proposed upgrade and also submitted a formal proposal to increase the life of the aircraft, inducted by the IAF in the 1980s, by around 20-25 years, officials said.'If we are given the go ahead today, we should be able to retrofit the first set of two aircraft in two years,' a senior Thales official, here for the Aero India show, told IANS. 'Then one can look at two-three aircraft a month.The IAF has 52 Mirage 2000s in three squadrons.The French consortium for Mirage upgrade includes Dassault, which shut down the production line for Mirage 2000s some five years ago. The French company is also in the race for selling 126 multi-role combat aircraft, Renault, to the IAF for replacing the ageing MiG-21 fleet.
08/02/07 India

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