PM Modi’s Russia visit: New, cheaper deal on Sukhoi fighter planes

The proposal awaits a decision from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin for the annual India-Russia summit this week.

Written by Sushant Singh | New Delhi | Updated: December 23, 2015 9:02 am
Modi Russia visit, Modi in Russia, PM Modi Russia, India Russia, Modi in moscow, india russia, narendra modi, Russia President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Source: AP photo)

Russia has made a new offer on the delivery of Sukhoi T-50 (PAK FA) fighter jets to India under the joint fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) initiative.

Under the new offer, India will have to pay $3.7 billion, instead of $6 billion, for the technological know-how and three prototypes of PAK FA fighters. The proposal awaits a decision from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin for the annual India-Russia summit this week.

India and Russia had signed an inter-governmental agreement to co-develop and co-produce the FGFA in 2007, which was followed by the $295 million preliminary design contract in December 2010. Modelled on the successful Brahmos missile project, the project involves Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The overall FGFA project cost for making 127 single-seat fighters in India has been estimated to be around $30 billion.

The final design contract, under which both sides were to contribute an initial $6 billion each for prototype development and production, has not been signed between India and Russia so far. Meanwhile, Russia has gone ahead with the development of PAK FA and claims that it will enter service with the Russian Air Force in 2016, and enter serial production in 2017.

“Now that they already have the fighter, the Russians have made a revised offer to us. For $3.7 billion, they will give us all the technological know-how of making the fighter. We will also get three prototypes from them in that amount,” a senior defence ministry official said.

But the Indian Air Force (IAF) remains opposed to the idea. A senior IAF official said, “We are not in favour of the FGFA. The PAK FA fighter is too expensive at even this rate, and we are not sure of its capabilities.”

Sources said the Russian offer is driven by Moscow’s cash crunch and lack of firm orders with its defence industry.

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  1. D
    devender
    Jan 18, 2016 at 12:51 am
    know-how is different from TOT, Russia is not giving the tech of the FGFA rather letting us know how to build it at home.
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    1. F
      Francesco Ganzetti
      Jan 3, 2016 at 11:44 am
      Pak fa is sno stealthy at all and has no sensor fusion or an engine: flawed project.
      Reply
      1. G
        Goresh
        Jan 3, 2016 at 5:20 am
        China has signed a deal to buy the current SU-35 from Russia. They are negotiating re the PAK-FA. stan will buy any 5th generation anybody offers them. India will still be making up its mind when its neighbours already have operation squadrons.
        Reply
        1. P
          Prranjal Shrivaastav
          Feb 29, 2016 at 4:20 pm
          IAF should be dismantled and reformed as airwings under Navy's, Army's, Coast Guard's and BSF's command. Bharat's Airforce does not need to have it's own independent command becoz these are the spoiled brats who have always suffered from unrealistic temptation for expensive fancy war planes. Unlike Navy and Army, Airforce has always bankrupted our country with it's flying Ferrari dreams.
          Reply
          1. P
            Prranjal Shrivaastav
            Feb 29, 2016 at 5:41 pm
            So true
            Reply
            1. P
              Prranjal Shrivaastav
              Feb 29, 2016 at 5:20 pm
              WHAT?
              Reply
              1. P
                Prranjal Shrivaastav
                Feb 29, 2016 at 5:21 pm
                When u pay too much of unneeded attention to IAF, this doesn't come as a surprise.
                Reply
                1. A
                  Anand
                  Jan 11, 2016 at 6:41 pm
                  Of course the INDIAN AIR FORCE will make sure technology will never reach India. At this price the Govt must buy the technology sheets and prototypes immediately. And if they do want can start making our fighter based on that. Just take a look and see for yourself what Russia id offering, Prototypes plus technology for just 3 billions. Airforce "NEEDS" can be fulfilled by only U.S and French fighters, Buy them a few, Develop a good stealth fighter jet for Navy and ARMY and let them use it . Who knows after all it is the Naval air power that makes you the superpower.
                  Reply
                  1. B
                    Bharatk
                    Dec 23, 2015 at 7:07 am
                    To learn the current technical know how would be 5-10 years for HAL. Once they learn it, they start implementing/ building 11-15 years from now. The ready state to m produce and get these planes inducted into air force, the planes would be so outdated that they would not even be fit to be used as trainers (one seater). Its better to buy some off the shelf and invest the rest of the money in R&D.
                    Reply
                    1. N
                      Nathan
                      Dec 25, 2015 at 12:17 am
                      Whatever is available cheap will always be of poor quality. The memories of so many MIG fighters that have crashed in the past still linger in the minds of all. How many precious lives have been lost? I think the government has not learnt any lesson.
                      Reply
                      1. Y
                        Yogesh
                        Dec 23, 2015 at 8:09 am
                        Buy Swedish Gripen instead - much cheaper
                        Reply
                        1. K
                          khodsal
                          Dec 25, 2015 at 12:23 pm
                          Read carefully!! We will get prototypes and all know how in 3.7 Billion $ instead of 6 Billion $!! Not a flying coffin.
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            amit
                            Dec 24, 2015 at 1:12 am
                            No one can doubt the Russian technology as One S 400 sam in Syria and allied forces had to ground their fighter jets..dia should go ahead with this deal.. We will have to learn how to make it on our own.. We can cover all loses later by selling it as China is doin...
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              amit
                              Dec 24, 2015 at 1:09 am
                              We should go for the deal as we dont have any source for a fifth gen fighter and China has already developed theirs... Other 5 th gen fighter which India can acquire is F 35 which has many issues with itself. Moreover F 35 is a joint fighter and not a air superiority fighter. India needs are different from F 35. Other aircraft which is really a fifth gen is f 22 but US is unwilling to sell it to someone...
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                A Patel
                                Dec 23, 2015 at 2:47 am
                                Getting technical know how and making technology to work are two different things. DRDO, ADA and HAL has very miserable track records of absorbing technologies. This will be the repeat of Tejas scenario. Even today, half of the fighters are not maintained in flying conditions.
                                Reply
                                1. K
                                  Kaliyug
                                  Dec 23, 2015 at 1:07 am
                                  Russian jets have NEVER been battle tested, so it is unknown if they will do well in Indian hot climate, in the Himalayas and the Chinese border. This may be one chance to develop with the Russian help aircraft technology. Hopefully the scientists, engineers, Air force officers all can come to one goal.
                                  Reply
                                  1. A
                                    Arvind Chitale
                                    Dec 23, 2015 at 8:20 am
                                    Russia is a trusted old friend but its behavior is baffling. Time has changed better options are available for India. She should offer the best proven technology at affordable cost. Delays and cost over run has to be avoided for better ties.
                                    Reply
                                    1. A
                                      ah
                                      Dec 24, 2015 at 8:09 am
                                      Desh Bhaqt will buy FLYING Coffins and get a kick back just like Kargil Coffins ................... every Indian knows Russian jets crash 1 every three months ..........................
                                      Reply
                                      1. S
                                        Sumit
                                        Dec 23, 2015 at 5:32 am
                                        T50 is highly stealth in nature & full fledge war machine. Having it in IAF's inventory is going to prove edge anyways.
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                                        1. M
                                          Mani
                                          Dec 24, 2015 at 9:41 am
                                          if you fly a craft made in 1950 in 2015 ....of course it will crash!
                                          Reply
                                          1. A
                                            Anand
                                            Dec 23, 2015 at 2:05 am
                                            As a NRI, I love Modi. He is always close to NRI's. Literally, very close. We see him all the time in person, all over the world. Thanks PM.
                                            Reply
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