HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) on Thursday flew for the first time the upgraded Mirage-2000 aircraft in its Final Operational Configuration (FOC) design.
HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) on Thursday flew for the first time the upgraded Mirage-2000 aircraft in its Final Operational Configuration (FOC) design. Mirage 2000 aircraft are a valuable asset of the Indian Air Force (IAF). According to HAL, the upgraded Mirage 2000’s FOC configuration covers the integration of India specific weapons, sensors and EW system. “This FOC upgrade on Mirage 2000 gives additional capability of air-to-ground weapon, training, helmet mounted display etc,” explains HAL in its release. The initial operation configuration (IOC) was designed by Dassault and Thales of France. HAL subsequently took up the FOC design and development activities.
The defence PSU says that the entire design and development was done by HAL. This includes system design, mission computer hardware, OFP software, aircraft modification etc. The company is responsible for the IOC and FOC upgrade of the Mirage fleet of IAF. The test flight, according to HAL, happened on the scheduled date of July 28, 2016. The first flight lasted for 45 minutes and was piloted by Group Captain C. Subramaniam (Retd), Chief Test Pilot of HAL from the front cockpit and Wing Commander Haldikar of ASTE, IAF in the rear cockpit. Group Captain A. Mishra of IAF acted as the test director.
Commenting on the success, T Suvarna Raju, CMD of HAL said, “We have done it again on time. What it proves is 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 upgradation of the Mirage fleet.” HAL will now be upgrading more such Mirage 2000 for the IAF, in the coming months.