With military deals worth about Rs 60,000 crore signed and sealed with India in Goa, Russia is hopeful that another big ticket agreement on Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft will be inked by year-end. “The agreement had been completed on our end, we are ready to sign it. It is now down to the Indian side. “There are some formalities to figure out, but I think it will be signed by the end of this year,” Sergei Chemezov, CEO of Rostec State Corporation, a Russian umbrella organisation of 700 hi-tech civilian and military firms, said.
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After a hiatus of nearly a year, India and Russia had in February revived talks on the much delayed FGFA project after a clearance from Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. Since then, a lot of issues related to work share, IPR and technology transfer among others have been sorted out between the two sides along with the monetary commitments. Under the new offer, India will have to pay about USD 3.7 billion, instead of USD 6 billion, for the technological know-how and three prototypes of the fighters, defence sources have said.
In 2010, India had agreed to pay USD 295 million towards the preliminary design of the fighter, called in India as Perspective Multi-role Fighter (PMF). “The FGFA project will produce a state of the art fighter jet, and it will be the result of the work on Russia’s most modern technology done by both Russian and Indian engineers and constructors,” Chemezov said.
“As a Fifth Generation, it means fifth generation speed, ballistics and military equipment, avionics and stealth capabilities among other qualities,” he said. “It shall be on a par with the capabilities of Russia’s PAK-FA T-50 aircraft, a Fifth-Generation fighter but as it will be designed in the next few years, it is likely to exceed it in some specifics. “Our technology is always developing,” the Russia’s top efence industry official said.