Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Russian-Indian development of 5th-generation fighter jet goes according to plan

Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet © Sergei Bobylev/TASS

October 24, 15:17 UTC+3

Indian Air Force is expected to be the first customer

MOSCOW, October 24. /TASS/. Russia and India continue their joint project to develop the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), the press office of Russia’s state arms seller Rosoboronexport said on Tuesday.

Defense News earlier reported citing a report by the command of the Indian Air Force that the plane being developed on the basis of the Russian Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet did not meet desired stealth features. Besides, in the opinion of Indian Air Force officials, the fifth-generation fighter aircraft does not have a modular engine concept, which makes maintenance and serviceability of the fleet expensive. That is why, they proposed to the Indian authorities to get out of the Russian-Indian FGFA program, Defense News reported.

"Currently, the Russian-Indian inter-governmental agreement is in effect; there are commitments, under which the parties are implementing the joint project for developing the 5th-generation plane in accordance with the agreed stages and time limits," Rosoboronexport said.

The agreement on the FGFA project was signed in 2007. In early May, a source in India’s Defense Ministry told the Indian news agency PTI that a contract on the development of a detailed project of the new fighter jet would be signed in the second half of 2017.

In spring, Russian officials announced that Russia was fully implementing its obligations under the project and expected a decision by the Indian side.

The Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) is being developed on the basis of the Russian Su-57 plane in compliance with the technical requirements set by the Indian side. The Indian Air Force is expected to be the initial customer of this plane, after which these aircraft are planned to be exported to third countries.

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