Mort Walker wrote:^^^From the article above it states that HAL only has the capacity to upgrade 4 Mirage-2000 per year and it will take HAL 12 years to complete the upgrade. However, the Mirage-2000 will be phased out in 2030 - only two years after the last upgrade. It is a bad situation as it states that 12 Mirage-2000 are at HAL for 2nd line maintenance and others are being cannibalized for operational bases.
To me it shows the poor state of readiness at the IAF.
In reality, the Mirage-2000 will not retire by 2030..by carefully husbanding assets and rotating jets through storage and into frontline service, the Mirage fleet will last till 2035-40. Remember that 10 of the IAF's Mirages came into service in the 2000s as attrition replacements and they should have plenty of life left.
HAL technicians had noted earlier (in an article by George Mader) that the Mirage airframe is extremely robust and they'd not found any fatigue issues with the fleet during overhauls, unlike that on the Jaguar, where some fatigue related issues were noticed. The delta wing design is one of the contributing reasons for the Mirage airframe being so robust. Note that even in French Air Force service, Mirages haven't been reported as having the kind of fatigue issues that F-16s and F/A-18s have seen with the USAF, RCAF and European services.
HAL’s shop-personnel was proudly pointing to the fact, that even in the second cycle, “pratically no fatique or cracks are discovered in the very robust blended delta-structure, not the same case in the Jaguar-fleet for example.” Despite with the standard Thompson RDM-radar the ‘Vajra’s does not offer multi-target capability for their SUPER 530D and Magic 550, “that does not take anything away from Mirage 2000 as its an excellent and beloved aircraft in India and by far the best purchase made by the IAF, even better than the Su-30 MKIs when you look at flexibility, performance and availability of the French aircraft, for example in the Kargil-conflict”, a technician expressed of course his personal views to ACIG.
It might have had something to do with the way the aircraft were employed as well, with the Jaguar being tasked with low level strike, which entails carrying heavy ordnance, whereas the Mirages were primarily tasked with air superiority before the MKI arrived.