Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mirage planes upgraded at Rs 167 cr per aircraft in 2011

India bought Mirage-2000 warplanes for Rs 133 crore each in year 2000, while the cost of upgrading the aircraft came to Rs 167 crore per unit in 2011, Defence Minister A K Antony said today.
In a written reply in Lok Sabha, he said, “The last contracted price for each Mirage-2000 aircraft in the year 2000 was Rs 133 crore. The contract for upgrade was signed in 2011 wherein the cost of upgrading one aircraft was Rs 167 crore.”
Antony said, “Applying an escalation of 3.5 per cent per annum as per the Pricing Policy Review Committee, to the contacted cost of the year 2000, it works out to be Rs 195 crore at 2011 levels. Thus, the upgrade has been undertaken at 85 per cent of the escalated cost of the aircraft.”
The upgrade program also includes fitments of advanced multimode-multi target radar, reconfigured glass cockpit and advanced avionics, state-of-the-art electronic warfare system and capability to launch advance missiles, the Minister said.
To a separate question on deployment of Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), he said these are force multipliers for specific area cover and not for surveillance of the entire air space.
“Three AWACS aircraft are presently operationalised in the IAF. AWACS are meant as force multipliers for specific area cover and not for surveillance of the entire space of our country,” he said.
All three AWACS are part of Network Centric Operations and are able to provide adequate coverage of specified areas in such perations, Antony said.
On steps taken by Government to procure more long-range surveillance aircraft, Antony said, “Enhancement of airborne surveillance and command and control capabilities of the IAF is sought to be achieved through procurement of additional AWACS.”

He also said that the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had on February 12, this year approved a proposal of indigenous development of AWACS by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
“The development of AWACS is envisaged to be completed in 84 months from the date of formal sanction of the programme,” he said.

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