PM, Sarkozy likely to discuss Mirage upgradation deal
An agreement on upgradation of 51 French-made Mirage fighters is expected to be discussed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit in Paris beginning today.world Updated: Jul 13, 2009 17:47 IST
An agreement on upgradation of 51 French-made Mirage fighters is expected to be discussed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit in Paris beginning today.
During the talks between Singh and French President Nicholas Sarkozy in Paris on Tuesday, the two sides are also expected to discuss various other collaborative proposals in the defence field.
India had about two years ago decided to upgrade the 51 aircraft fleet of Mirages flown currently by three IAF squadrons.
A Request for Proposal was issued over a year ago and at present, negotiations are nearing completion over the cost of the upgrades that would include better avionics and weapon systems.
IAF had inducted Mirages into its fleet in the mid-1980s and the upgrade is intended to increase its service life by another 25 years, Indian Defence Ministry officials said.
The issue is expected to be discussed during the Singh-Sarkozy talks. Indian Defence secretary Vijay Singh will also be present.
Another major 'big-ticket' deal in the pipeline is the 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA), which India intends to acquire. The Request for Proposal for the same was issued in late 2007.