India has no intention of curtailing its participation in the joint Russian-Indian program for creating a fifth generation fighter aircraft FGFA, which is being implemented on a 50/50 basis, the director of the federal service for military-technical cooperation, Alexander Fomin, said on the eve of the 9th international air and space show Aero India 2013.
Asked if India really wished to purchase less fifth generation jets than it had originally planned, Fomin replied, “Before purchases can be reduced the jet is to be made first.”
“Our work under the program is proceeding on schedule, and we hope that it will be so in the future,” Fomin said. “Sketch design formalities are over and we are in the second phase of more active design process. Both parties work with enthusiasm and contribute the best of their potential – scientific, technological, technical and industrial.”
“In general, I do not see any reasons for any alarm of panic. This is a fifth generation jet. Neither India nor many other states have it yet. Making such a plane is a good ambition of any country.”
India, he said, is keen to master and advance high technologies in the defense sphere.
“The fifth generation jet is one of the likely projects where this wish can materialize. Quitting this theme would be a very unserious and counterproductive thing for any country in its right mind to do,” he said.
Asked if Russia were able to finance two fifth generation aircraft programs simultaneously – the front-line aviation complex of the future and the FGFA, Fomin answered in the affirmative.
“True, certain problems do exist, but this not the reason for lifting the issue from the agenda.
Russia and India are working on the fifth generation aircraft under an inter-governmental agreement. The original arrangement was India’s Air Force would purchase 200-250 planes of that type, including 48 two-seaters. Indian Air Force Commander-in-Chief Anil Kumar Browne later said that the batch would be reduced to 144.
The contract for the sketch design of a future multi-functional fighter jet 295 million dollars worth was signed by Rosoboronexport and HAL Corporation in December 2011. According to India’s sources the fifth generation aircraft may cost a total of six billion dollars to develop. India estimates the overall value of the program at 30 billion dollars. The FGFA is to enter service as part of India’s Air Force as of 2020.
BANGALORE, February 5 (Itar-Tass)