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Mirage jets to get new missiles in $1.23 bn deal

New Delhi: India Wednesday approved a $1.23 billion deal with a French weapons manufacturer to arm its 51 Mirage-2000 combat planes with new air-to-air missiles.

The cabinet committee on security (CCS), the country’s highest security decision making body headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, gave its nod to the deal under which French firm MBDA will supply 450 MICA interception and aerial combat missiles as part of the second phase of plans for upgrading the Mirage fleet of the Indian Air Force (IAF), defence ministry sources said here.

India had last July signed a $2.4 billion deal with French defence firms Thales and Dassault for upgrading the Mirages with better avionics, night vision goggle-compatible glass cockpits, advanced navigational systems, advanced Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, advanced multi-mode multi-layered radar, fully integrated electronic warfare suites and advanced beyond visual range (BVR) capability.

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