Terming the latest variant of the versatile Mirage fighter -- the 2005-5 MkII -- as the best of 'airpowerment', Dassault Aviation is making a strong bid to land the Indian Air Force's order for 125 multi-role fighters.
Defining 'airpowerment' as ''a (country's) capability to use its air assets at their best,'' Dassault claims the Mirage, which proved its value in 'Operation Safed Sagar,' offers ''incomparable effectiveness, unmatched quality, total independence, tight budget control and superior maintainability.'' Highlighting the fighter's invaluable contribution during the Kargil conflict, where it carried over 500 sorties delivering about 55,000 kg of ordnance on enemy positions, despite not having a dedicated high-altitude ground attack capability, the French aviation major stresses the new version's unique features.
''The Mirage 2000-5 MkII is an air force in itself, with its wide range of advance weapons and sensors designed to defeat all known and foreseeable adversaries in air combat and strike ground targets with outstanding precision at stand-off ranges,'' Dassault sources told UNI.
The plane can carry out the whole spectrum of air operations -- air defence, air superiority, close air support, strike, penetration, anti-ship attack, in flight-refuelling ('buddy refuelling'), photo recon missions and electronic warfare, they said, adding that with the adoption of a 'Modular Data Processing Unit (MDPU),' new weapons can be easily integrated, while the buyer can choose across a wide range of operational requirement to meet his ''most stringent requirements.'' The new version is equipped with the RDY-2 multimode radar, whose multitarget capabilities enable the pilot to track upto eight targets, out of the 24 displayed, in the track-while-scan mode, irrespective of their flying altitudes and aspects. It can fire simultaneously at four of these.
In the ground-attack role, the long range SAR mode delivers high-resolution images for stand-off engagement of naval and ground targets.
Meanwhile, the Integrated Counter Measures System (ICMS) electronic warfare suite equips the Mirage to defeat all known threats and survive over any hostile battlefield. The internally-mounted ICMS includes an advanced radio frequency surveillance/warning receiver, a powerful jammer and decoy dispensers plus an additional missile launch detector.