A modernisation contract for the Indian Air Force’s 63 MiG-29s has been awarded to Thales by the Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RSK-MiG).

Under the contract, Thales will upgrade the IFF1’s combined interrogator transponder (CIT) and cryptographic national secure mode (NSM), and deliver the first CIT to RSK-MiG in 2010.

The IFF CIT equipment, part of the TSB 2500 family, will offer a modern digital identification capability, compliant with Nato standard MKXA2 modes.

It can securely operate with either cryptographic national mode or with the mode 4 / mode 5 Nato modes.

It will enable the IAF’s fleet of MiG-29 fighter jets to be interoperable with western military aircraft and avoid friendly fire.

The NSM mode will offer India a first national secure identification capability to protect its own assets.

India will receive the first building block of the comprehensive secure identification capability in mid 2011.