India, Russia Formalise 5th Gen Fighter Effort

India and Russia have signed a preliminary design contract (PDC) for their joint Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) programme. According to a government statement, "The contract envisages joint design and development of Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft with the involvement of HAL on the Indian side and Sukhoi Design Bureau and Rosoboronexport on the Russian side." More later.

[UPDATED @5.32PM] Official statement: A contract for Preliminary Design of the Indo-Russian Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft was signed between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Rosoboronexport and Sukhoi here today. The Project involves design and development of a Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft that will have advanced features such as stealth, supercruise, ultra-maneuvrability, highly integrated avionics suite, enhanced situational awareness, internal carriage of weapons and Network Centric Warfare capabilities.

The aircraft to be jointly developed is termed Perspective Multi-role Fighter (PMF). PMF draws upon the basic structural and system design of the Russian FGFA Technology Demonstrator with modifications to meet IAF specifications which are much more stringent. The broad scope of bilateral cooperation during the joint project covers the design & development of the PMF, its productionization and joint marketing to third countries. Programme options include the design & development of a twin seater variant and the integration of an advanced engine with higher thrust at a later stage.

Today's contract is only the first in a series of such contracts which will cover different stages of this complex programme. The total cost including options and the value of production aircraft will make this the biggest Defence programme ever in the history of India involving production of over 200-250 aircraft.

The Contract was signed by Mr. A Isaykin, General Director, Rosoboronexport and Mr. M Pogosyan, General Director RAC MiG & Sukhoi from the Russian side and Mr. Ashok Nayak, Chairman, HAL and Mr. NC Agarwal, Director (D&D), HAL from the Indian side at Delhi.

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