India inks multibillion dollar deal with French arms sellers

09:43, July 31, 2011      

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India on Friday inked a 2.4 billion U.S. dollars deal with French armament majors Thales and Dassault Aviation for the upgrade of 51 Mirage-2000 multi-role fighters in Indian Air Force's combat fleet, reported the Times of India electronic edition Saturday.

Under this long-awaited project, the first two jets will be upgraded in France with new avionics, radars, mission computers, glass cockpits, helmet-mounted displays, electronic warfare suites, weapon delivery and precision-targeting systems, said the report.

After their delivery to Indian Air Force in 44 months, the rest of the jets will be retrofitted in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) after transfer of technology and training from the French companies.

Another big contract for about 450 MICA (interception and aerial combat missiles) systems from French company MBDA to arm the upgraded Mirages is also in the final stages, according to the report.

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