India, Russia to ink deal for advanced fighter

Written by RajeshRavi | Bangalore | Updated: Feb 7 2013, 09:31am hrs
India and Russia are likely to sign a joint research and development (R&D) agreement this year for the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA), which is being co-developed by the countries. The FGFA is being jointly developed by Indias Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Russias United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the makers of Sukhoi.

UAC president Mikhail A Pogosyan, while attending Aero India 2013, said the Russian and Indian versions of the FGFA aircraft is based on the same platform with trials being underway.

This likely agreement would be a step forward for getting into serial production, which will be undertaken by HAL. UAC has already come out with four prototypes of the FGFA, which is undergoing extensive trials in Russia. This was also being done in close cooperation with Indian personnel.

There were reports that the IAF was interested in the single-seater FGFA and not a twin-seater though the UAC official said that they would able to bring in the changes as per their requirements.

According to reports, the IAF is likely to place an order for more than 100 of these advanced fighters, which would be manufactured by HAL. This could also give a big boost to defence manufacturing as the aircraft is expected to marketed to countries outside of India and Russia.