Oct 8, 2010
NEW DELHI — Russia and India are moving fast on the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Oct. 7 following the 10th Meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation here.
Military cooperation between the two countries is defined through an umbrella intergovernmental agreement covering 2011-2020. The document was signed during the
visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Russia in December of last year.
While India and Russia have signed the shareholders agreement for a joint venture company for the development and production of the Multirole Transport Aircraft
(MTA), they also have agreed to expedite the joint design, development and production of the FGFA. The deal is estimated at $25 billion. The agreement envisages India will receive about 250-300 FGFAs.
“We have done the design of the plane, we have developed the time frames, the price, and the draft of the contract has already been submitted to the Indian side, which is under their consideration,” Serdyukov said.
“India hopes to get 45 Medium Transport Aircraft and also finalize the FGFA,” Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony said, adding that “technical formalities” of the deal should be cleared within a few months.
The FGFA is based on the Russian Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA, which flew for the first time this January at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur facility in Siberia.
The 30-ton aircraft is priced at around $100 million each. “It would be a swing-role fighter with highly advanced avionics, giving 360-deg. situational awareness, stealth to increase survivability and smart weapons,” Indian
Air Force Chief P.K. Naik said. He added the aircraft is expected to join the force by 2017.
The FGFA will be capable of covering long ranges without air-to-air refueling and will have super-cruise features along with advanced mission computers, Naik added.
- Neelam Mathews