Continuing its success on various recent projects, HAL has now flown the first FOC upgraded Mirage-2000 aircraft on July 28, 2016 adhering to the scheduled date . “We have done it again on time. What it proves is HAL’s capability of mid-life upgrade of platforms to overcome obsolescence issues, enhance the reliability and maintainability of these aircraft. The introduction of state of the art facility created for this project ensures the timely upgradation of the Mirage fleet”, says Mr. T. Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL.
The Final Operational Configuration (FOC) design was implemented on an Initial Operational Configured (IOC) aircraft which was received at HAL only about eight months ago. “This significant milestone could be achieved by the dedicated efforts of the HAL’s team of designers and engineers with active support from IAF, RCMA and DGAQA”, adds Mr. Raju.
The initial operation configuration was designed by the Dassault and Thales of France. HAL took up the FOC design and development activities. The FOC configuration covers the integration of Indian specific weapons, sensors and EW system. This FOC upgrade on Mirage 2000 gives additional capability of air to ground weapon, training, helmet mounted display etc. The system having a unique feature of integrating different types of data bus for IOC and FOC configuration is achieved without any degradation. The total design and development was done by HAL which includes mission computer hardware, OFP software, system design, aircraft modification etc. The Company is responsible for the IOC and FOC upgrade of the Mirage fleet of IAF.
The first flight of 45 minutes was piloted by Gp. Capt C. Subramaniam (Retd.), Chief Test Pilot of HAL from the front cockpit and Wg. Cdr Haldikar of ASTE, IAF in the rear cockpit. Gp. Capt. A. Mishra of IAF acted as the test director.