On 28 July 2016, HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) flew an upgraded Mirage-2000 aircraft with India specific weapons, sensors and electronic warfare systems. The plane with an upgraded mission computer meets the Final Operational Configuration (FOC) requirements.The upgraded Mirage 2000’s FOC configuration covers the integration of India specific weapons, sensors and EW system. As per HAL, “This FOC upgrade on Mirage 2000 gives additional capability of air-toground weapon, training, helmet mounted display etc”. The initial operation configuration (IOC) was designed by Dassault and Thales of France. HAL subsequently took up the FOC design and development activities to include system design, mission computer hardware, OFP software, aircraft modification etc. The test flight took place on the scheduled date and lasted 45 minutes. It 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. The flight proves HAL’s capability of mid-life upgrade of platforms to overcome obsolescence issues and enhance the reliability and maintainability of these aircraft. According to T Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL, “The introduction of state of the art facility created for this project ensures the timely upgradation of the Mirage fleet.”
HARPOON BLOCK II ANTI-SHIPPING MISSILES FOR INDIA’S HDW SUBMARINES
In July 2014, the US Government had notified the Congress of a possible deal to sell 22 more Harpoon Block II anti-shipping missiles, having a range of about 140 km to the Indian Navy for its four HDW German made Shishumar class submarines. Of the four SSK submarines in this class, INS Shisumar and INS Shankush are of 1980 vintage while INS Shalki and INS Shankul are of 1990 vintage. The latter two were built in India at Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai under a technology transfer agreement.
Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems has announced a key contract worth 35 million Euros for the upgrade of two of the Indian Navy’s Shishumar Class submarines to fire Harpoon Anti- Submarine Counter measure missiles. The retrofit of the new weapon suite is likely to be carried out on the 1990s vintage INS Shalki and INS Shankul, at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai and will be backed by a training package to support and operate the system.
Dr Gurnad Sodhi, Managing Director of Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems’ operations in India, stated that they have the capability to integrate any weapon system that is selected by the Indian Navy onto their submarines and that they had successfully carried out such integration on similar boats for other Navies across the world.Thyssenkrupp is also ready to integrate ‘Brahmos’ onto the latest 214 Class Submarines for the upcoming project P75 (I) project. As per Dr Sodhi, “It is a key milestone in our long-standing commitment towards India. We are happy to take on this project to now integrate the harpoon missiles in two of the four SSK submarines.” He went on to say that “We fully support the ‘Make and Made in India’ policy which would encompass inter-alia Transfer of Technology (ToT), training and meeting all offset obligations. We are awaiting the government’s decision on the Strategic Partner chapter of the new DPP 2016, after which we will begin our negotiations with an Indian shipyard for the P75(I)”.
HDW Class 209 1500 Submarine for the Indian Navy undergoing sea trials.