It said the first flight of 45 minutes duration yesterday was piloted by Group Captain C Subramaniam (Retd), Chief Test Pilot of HAL, from the front cockpit and Wing Commander Haldikar of Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment in the rear cockpit.

Group Captain A Mishra of IAF acted as the Test Director, HAL said in a release here. "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," HAL CMD T Suvarna Raju said.

The introduction of state-of-the-art facility created for this project ensures the timely upgradation of the Mirage fleet, he said.

HAL said the FOC design was implemented on an Initial Operational Configured (IOC) aircraft which was received at HAL only about eight months ago.

The initial operation configuration was designed by the Dassault and Thales of France. Stating that HAL took up the FOC design and development activities, the company said the FOC configuration covers the integration of Indian specific weapons, sensors and electronic
warfare system.

This FOC upgrade on Mirage 2000 gives additional capability of air to ground weapon, training, helmet mounted display etc.

Noting that the system having a unique feature of integrating different types of data bus for IOC and FOC configuration is achieved without any degradation, HAL said the total design and development was done by the company which includes mission computer hardware, OFP (Operational Flight Program) software, system design and aircraft modification.

The company is responsible for the IOC and FOC upgrade of the Mirage fleet of IAF, it added.

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