Monday, April 12, 2010

IAF to Upgrade Mirages-2000H

Air Chief Marshal P V Naik said that upgrading old Mirage fighter aircraft is a better option than buying new fighter planes. When asked why Air Force was spending millions of dollars in upgrading old Mirages as the money could well be used in buying new Sukhois, Naik said, "When you buy an (fighter) aircraft it is not only the aircraft that you buy, you spend money in training people, erecting infrastructure, logistics, spares supply and life time support." "The residual life of the 50 odd Mirages that are left is another 20 years. If I throw them away I have wasted 20 years of that residual life. But upgrading them, with the infrastructure already available, seems a better option, considering the life time cost," he added. He further said that when you upgrade an aircraft the cost is higher than 50 per cent of the original cost.

"As far as Air Force is concerned there is one great asset we can use for coastal security and that is the UAVs (Unmanned Ariel Vehicles). They are already being used in areas like Haraminala," he added. He said IAF they had used UAVs in the naxal affected areas 3-4 years ago. "We have used these in Raipur and Jagdalpur. But the problem in these areas is that they are covered by jungles. So, as far as visual clues are concerned, we can't get there as there is a thick forest cover." The Air Chief Marshal further said that new bases are being thought of and the old bases are being strengthened to accept new aircraft. "Trials of two aircraft are still left, by end of April we will be completing all the trials after that about 2-3 months to complete the report and then we will be submitting it to the government," he


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