Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has conducted the first flight of a Dassault Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft featuring significant upgrades.

The flight involved the first aircraft to reach a final operational configuration (FOC) as defined by a major upgrade programme for the Indian air force’s fleet of Mirage 2000s, says HAL in a statement.

The flight lasted 45 minutes, with the two-seat fighter manned by a pair of air force test pilots. An image provided by HAL indicates that the aircraft involved in the activity bears serial number KT201.

The aircraft was originally delivered to HAL after being brought to an initial operatonal configuration by Dassault and Thales.

Mirage 2000 HAL upgraded

Hindustan Aeronautics

“The FOC covers the integration of Indian specific weapons, sensors and EW (electronic warfare),” says HAL.

Other work undertaken by HAL related to the mission computer hardware, the operational flight program software, and other modifications.

In March 2015, India’s first two Mirage 2000 fighters completed extensive upgrade activity in France, with the conversion programme moving to HAL in Bengaluru.

Modified by Dassault and Thales at the Istres air base, the programme’s lead aircraft were formally accepted on 25 March 2015. Originally flown in the T/TH configuration for India, the pair – a single-seat fighter KF107 and a two-seat trainer KT201 – are now redesignated as I/TI models, respectively.

New Delhi signed a $2.4 billion upgrade deal for the Mirage 2000 fleet in July 2011. The first updated airframe, KT201, was returned to flight status in October 2013, followed two months later by the single-seat KF107. The country’s order originally covered 51 aircraft.

Key elements of the upgrade include a Thales RDY fire-control radar and new glass cockpit avionics equipment, as well as the integration of MBDA’s Mica short-/beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile. Images released by Dassault show two of the weapons being carried by each upgraded aircraft.

Source: FlightGlobal.com