'The Mirage 2000 upgrade programme serves the strategic requirements of the “Make in India” initiative of the Indian government’
Vice president, sales and marketing – India, Thales, Stephane Lavigne

Stephane LavigneTell us about Thales equipment that will be a part of IAF’s Rafale programme.
Thales provides a number of state-of-the-art equipment and systems onboard the Rafale. These include the RBE2 AESA radar, the Spectra electronic warfare system, optronics, the communication navigation and identification system (CNI), the majority of the cockpit display systems, power generation systems and a logistics support component. At Aero India this year, Thales will showcase these key systems as well as the new generation multi-function targeting pod and the airborne reconnaissance observation system.

Give us a brief account of the ongoing fighter jet upgrade programmes with the IAF.
Thales has been working with Dassault Aviation on the upgrade of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Mirage 2000 fleet since 2011. Four upgraded Mirage 2000 aircraft have been delivered to the IAF. The rest of the fleet is being upgraded under the responsibility of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with the support of Dassault Aviation and Thales teams as per the contract.

The upgrade will enhance the technical-operational capabilities of the IAF’s Mirage 2000. As a result, the IAF will have a coherent platform-system combination for the next 20 years. The IAF’s air potential will be further enhanced by the integration of new capabilities. These include longer-range detection across the entire spectrum, improved tactical situation awareness, longer-range weapon firing against multiple simultaneous targets, weapon stealth and an extended operating envelope with the capability to engage ground targets whilst countering airborne threats.

The Mirage 2000 upgrade programme serves the strategic requirements of the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Indian government.

How does Thales perceive ‘Make in India’ efforts of the government? Do you have partnerships with the Indian private companies to manufacture your products in India?
‘Make in India’ is a step in the right direction and expected to give fillip to the Indian industry, thereby positioning India as a global manufacturing hub. This will not only help Indian industries become globally competitive but also allow companies like Thales to further support the country’s modernisation needs. Defence production is at the heart of ‘Make in India’ programme and this would further energise India, helping develop strategic relationships with different countries.

Thales’s strategy is in line with the government’s ‘Make in India’ vision and it continues to contributing to it. Thales has set up successful joint ventures with Samtel, Bharat Electronics Limited and L&T Technology Services, in the fields of military avionics and airborne sensor systems, civilian and select ground-based military radars, and avionics software respectively. Through its ‘Go to India’ approach, Thales has also been co-operating with the Indian private sector, particularly large corporate players, SMEs, and MSMEs to build transfer of technology and supply chain partnerships.

Going forward, the company will continue to respond to market requirements, build a strong ecosystem of partners and support the process of transforming India into a global innovation and manufacturing hub.

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