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February 11, 2016

India, Russia revive 5th-generation fighter aircraft talks; Kamov cost negotiations begin

 
After a hiatus of nearly a year, India and Russia have revived talks on the much-delayed fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA). Alsom cost negotiations for the joint production of 200 Kamov 226T helicopters have begun.

A high level Russian delegation is in town to hold negotiations on both the projects, high-level defence sources said. "We have got the clearance to restart the talks. Accordingly, a Russian team is here and cost negotiations began yesterday," the sources said.

India has already pumped in about $290 million into the project but it got delayed because the IAF had some issues. Russia has made a new offer on the delivery of Sukhoi T-50 (PAK-FA) fighter jets to India under the joint FGFA initiative. Under the new offer, India will have to pay $3.7 billion, instead of $6 billion, for the technological know-how and three prototypes of PAK-FA fighters. In 2010, India had agreed to pay $295 million towards the preliminary design of the fighter.

The code name of the project in India is perspective multirole fighter (PMF).The Russian delegation will also hold talks with state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for 200 Kamov 226T light helicopters to replace the ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak, in a deal estimated to be worth $1 billion under the "Make in India" initiative.
 The defence ministry had in August last year scrapped a scam-tainted tender worth over Rs 6,000 crore to procure 197 light utility helicopters for Army and Air Force to replace the fleet of Cheetah and Chetak choppers, which are used to move troops and equipment to high-altitude locations like Siachen.


Following Russia's offer to manufacture Kamov in India, the defence acquisition council, chaired by defence minister Manohar Parrikar, accepted it.

Though the initial order is only for 200 helicopters, it is likely to be increased later on.

TOI

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