India and France are working towards closing a deal to upgrade a fleet of 51 Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft owned by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The IAF decided to upgrade the Mirage fleet two years ago and issued a request for proposals to French companies.

The Mirage refit is estimated to be worth approximately $1.9bn and will involve the upgrade of six aircrafts in France and a technology transfer for the remaining aircraft that will be refitted in India.

Negotiations are currently proceeding with the aircraft manufacturer, Dassault Aviation, and weapons systems integrator Thales on the cost of upgrades and improved avionics and weapons system.

India is also planning to purchase 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft and 197 light utility aircraft for the air force.