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First upgraded Jaguar for IAF makes maiden flight

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Jaguar 'Darin III' taking-off at HAL Airport, Bangalore on November 28, 2012. A HAL photo

BANGALORE (BNS): The first upgraded Jaguar "Darin III" fighter jet of the Indian Air Force (IAF) has been successfully flight tested by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) on Nov. 28.

The refurbished aircraft, featuring new state-of-the-art avionics, mission computer, modern navigation, electronic warfare and weapon delivery system along with additional functions in inertial global positioning system, autopilot, radar and radar warning receiver among others, took to the skies from HAL's Bangalore facility.

"This is a significant moment for HAL as the upgrade will result in major operational improvement with regard to all weather air to ground, air to sea and air to air capabilities through incorporation of multi mode radar," R K Tyagi, Chairman, HAL, said in a statement.

Other upgrades on the aircraft include engine and flight instrument system, solid state digital video recording system, solid state flight data recorder, state-of-the-art, man-machine interface (near glass cockpit) with two smart multi function display and head-up display.

The Darin III upgrade, with re-engining and change over to higher capacity alternators can make the Jaguar one of the most potent aircraft in the arsenal of IAF with an extended life-span, the Indian aerospace major said.

The Defence Ministry has awarded a contract worth Rs 3113.02 crore to the State-run firm to upgrade the IAF's entire fleet of 115 Jaguar fighters by December 2017.

The Anglo-French origin twin-engine, single seater ground attack aircraft has been in service with the IAF since 1979. It has been manufactured under licence by HAL.

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