Russia could soon see an invoice from India for an order of 127 new stealth fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) in a deal worth around $25 billion, according to a report from the Times of India (TOI).
India is ready to seal a big project with Russia after a stalemate with France in a deal for its 4th-generation Rafale fighter jets, The Times of India said, citing India’s defense ministry.
Faced with continuing deadlock in the mega deal to acquire 126 French Rafale fighters, India is now pressing the throttle to seal the even bigger project with Russia for the stealth fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA).
According to the report, top defence sources said that India told Russia that it wants deliveries of the new FGFA to begin in 36 months after the main contract is inked, instead of the 94 months that was previously envisaged.
Faced with a sharp decline in the number of fighter squadrons in the Indian Air Force (IAF), India wants to fast-track the FGFA project under which its “perspective multi-role fighter” will be based on PAK-FA but tweaked to its requirements, the report said.
The PAK FA – “Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation” – is a fifth-generation fighter program of the Russian Air Force. The T-50 is the aircraft designed by Sukhoi for the PAK FA program. The aircraft is a single-seat, twin-engine jet fighter, and will be the first operational aircraft in Russian service to use stealth technology. It is a multirole combat aircraft designed for the air superiority and ground attack functions. It combines supercruise, stealth, manoeuvrability, and advanced avionics to overcome previous generation fighter aircraft along with many ground and maritime defences.
The PAK FA is intended to be the successor to the MiG-29 and Su-27 in the Russian Air Force and serve as the basis for the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) being co-developed by Sukhoi and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force.