The upgraded Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft will be installed with India-made multi-function displays under an Indo-French partnership, as part of a programme to enhance the operational life of multi-role fighters by around 20 years.Samtel Thales Avionics Ltd (STAL), a joint venture between Samtel Avionics and French firm Thales, has successfully dispatched the first batch of multi-function displays for Mirage 2000 upgrade programme of the Indian Air Force from the newly-commissioned production facility in Greater Noida.
"Samtel Thales Avionics thus becomes the only Indo-French partnership in defence space in India to have a high-technology product in production for a major offset programme, and is the only company in India eligible for more Mirage 2000 MLU displays," an industry source here said.The potential of this project is valued at approximately Rs 100 crores, to be realised over the next 3 years.
The latest multi-functional displays are part of the programme to upgrade all of India's Mirage 2000H to Mirage 2000-5 MK2 variant with state-of-the-art avionics and latest weapon systems to enhance the operational life of multi-role fighters by around 20 years.
The sources said that the joint venture will also come into play if Thales bags contract for upgrade of Mirage 2000 from anywhere in the world.The entire project is expected to cost about Rs 10,000 crore.French Defence majors Dassault Aviation and Thales have already handed over two upgraded aircraft to India in March.The rest of the about 46 aircraft fleet will be upgraded in Bangalore under the responsibility of state-run HAL with the complete support and involvement of Dassault Aviation and Thales, the French firms, who are the original manufacturers.
The upgrade 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.
Earlier, Patrice Caine, Chairman and CEO, Thales, who was in India recently had said that India is at the top ten key focus nations for his company.