November 1, 2016

Russia expects to ink FGFA deal by December-end

Russia expects to reach an agreement with India for the joint development of Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) for the Indian Air Force by December. The aircraft, known as the Perspective Multi-role Fighter (PMF) in India, will be based on Russia's PAK-FA T-50 jet fighter but will boast a radar and avionics suite that could be superior to the prototype.

"From our end, the agreement has been completed. There are, however, some formalities to get through. I think the agreement can be signed by the end of this year," the head of Rostec state corporation, Sergei Chemezov, said, adding, "We have pretty much finalized details. The onus is now on the Indian government." Confirming the developments, a senior official of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) said that a formal announcement had been expected at the Brics summit, but that certain issues caused the formal inking of the agreement to be "missed by a whisker".

On whether the FGFA would include technology that is currently being developed for the sixth generation fighter aircraft that Russia is working on, Chemezov said, "The sixth generation aircraft is not really something we can seriously discuss right now as it is too far off. PAK-FA features can be introduced in the FGFA but, more importantly, one has to realize that this is a plane that will be developed jointly with India's engineers and constructors.

"I see, very realistically, that something such as avionics and radar detection would be even more improved and that would make the Indian FGFA more advanced than the PAK-FA that was introduced last year," he added.

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