Dec 17, 2010
NEW DELHI — India and Russia will conclude the preliminary design contract for their joint fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) project during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to India on Dec. 20-22.
“Once the approvals are through, we will then start the actual detailed work,” H industan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) Chairman Ashok Nayak tells Aviation Week.
Concerning India’s involvement in the project, Nayak says: “It is in the preliminary stage now.”
The FGFA is based on the Russian Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA, which flew for the first time last 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 says. The aircraft is expected to join the Indian air force between 2017 and 2020.
The FGFA will be capable of covering long ranges without refueling and will have super-cruise features along
with advanced mission computers, Naik says.
The cost of preliminary design is estimated at $295 million with the work expected to be completed within 18 months, according to a Russian news wire. A single-seat and two-seat version will be developed.
– Neelam Mathews