Aerospace Diary & Defense Report
April 27, 2010
NEW DELHI – Thales has been chosen by Russian Aircraft Corporation, MiG (RSK-MiG), to provide the IFF1 Combined Interrogator Transponder (CIT) and Cryptographic National Secure Mode (NSM) as part of the retrofit for the Indian air force’s MiG-29 fighter aircraft.
The approximately $900 million retrofit project — delayed by two years — was awarded to Russia for 65 MiG-29s to receive a 15-year life extension by 2013. The upgrade included advanced avionics and a new weapon control system.
Thales is set to deliver the first IFF CIT to MiG this year, with the initial building block of a comprehensive secure identification capability delivered in mid-2011.
The IFF CIT will allow the MiG-29s to be interoperable with Western military aircraft and help avoid friendly fire,Thales says.The cryptographic mode will equip India with the first national secure identification capability for protecting its own assets.
The TSB 2500 IFF Combined Interrogator Transponder is compliant with the latest NATO and ICAO2 standards.
It can securely operate either with cryptographic national mode or with the Mode 4/Mode 5 NATO modes. Some 16,000 units of IFF equipment have been installed onboard over 100 types of platforms worldwide, including airborne, ground and naval platforms.
Thales says it also will supply the MiG-29s with TOTEM 3000 Inertial Navigation and GPS.
“This is a comparatively light upgrade to extend the life of the aircraft,” a defense official tells Aviation Week. “It is a pity it is delayed, as it will take another two years before the complete upgrade is over.”
The first five MiG-29s are to be upgraded and flight tested in Russia and the remaining aircraft will be fitted in India, with Russian technical assistance.
Thales is supplying the Indian navy’s newly built MiG-29/KUB aircraft with the Topsight E helmet-mounted sight/display (HMS/D), for which it completed the integration phase — including ejection seat and weapon delivery and navigation system — in November 2009.