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Thales to upgrade IAF's MiG-29s with IFF system

Mig-29s in service with Indian Air Force. Photo : IAF

NEW DELHI (PTI): French defence major Thales will provide the sensors complaint with NATO standards for Identifying Friend or Foe (IFF) on MiG-29 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force to be upgraded in Russia.

"Russian Aircraft Corporation, MiG (RSK-MiG), has chosen Thales to provide the IFF-1 Combined Interrogator Transponder (CIT) and Cryptographic National Secure Mode (NSM) as part of the retrofit for the Indian Air Force's MiG-29 multi-role fighter aircraft," a press release from the French firm said here Thursday.

The IAF has three squadrons of MiG-29, numbering about 60 aircraft, which are currently under the upgrade programme.

The IFF CIT will allow the IAF's MiG-29 fighter aircraft to be interoperable with Western military aircraft so as to avoid friendly fire.

The cryptographic mode will equip India with the first national secure identification capability for protecting its own assets.

Under the latest contract, Thales would deliver the first IFF CIT to MiG this year and the initial building block of a comprehensive secure identification capability in mid-2011.

The 'TSB 2500' IFF CIT is an advanced system compliant with the latest NATO standards.

Some 16,000 units of IFF equipment have been installed on board more than 100 types of platforms worldwide including airborne, ground and naval platforms, the Thales said.

Thales will supply the IAF's MiG-29 fighter aircraft with 'TOTEM-3000' new generation Inertial Navigation and Global Positioning System.

Thales, in addition line-fit, supplies the Indian Navy's newly built MiG-29KUB aircraft with the Topsight E helmet-mounted sight and display (HMSD), for which it successfully completed integration phase in November 2009.

"This decisive phase marks the end of qualification for the Topsight-E HMSD, which is now fully integrated to the MiG-29K/KUB cockpit, including ejection seat and weapon delivery and navigation system," it said.

Thales' cooperation with MiG started in 1993 when Sextant decided to design and supply a full avionics suite for the Russian Advanced Trainer MiG-AT. This opened up new cooperation on programmes such as the MiG-21 and MiG-29 upgrades.

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