NEW DELHI - Five months after signing a $2.2 billion deal to upgrade its French Mirage aircraft, the Indian government Jan. 4 cleared an additional $1.18 billion deal to procure Mica air-to-air missiles from France.
The Indian Air Force will buy 500 Mica missiles from MBDA to mount on the 51 Mirage 200H aircraft that are to be upgraded by France's Thales and Dassault jointly with Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics.
The Mica deal was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security, the nation's top government security agency and which is chaired by the prime minister.
Under the deal, MBDA will also have to execute compulsory defense offsets valued at about 30 percent of the total deal.
The Indian Air Force is upgrading 51 Mirage 2000H aircraft over the next 10 years. Two aircraft have already flown to France for the upgrade and will be delivered by July 2014.
The upgrade includes improved avionics, sensors, weapon capabilities and electronic warfare suite, in addition to a high-performance, multimode airborne radar with longer detection ranges.
The aircraft will be fitted with a new-generation digital electronic warfare suite and a glass cockpit with most of the flight and mission parameters projected on the head-up display.