Indian Sukhoi fighter jet manufacturing facility, Nashik based Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) can be used for building fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA), if the government decides to go ahead with the proposed Indo-Russian joint venture, HAL Chairman and Managing Director T Suvarna Raju has said.
The facility will not require any major investment to reconfigure it to produce the FGFA, Raju told PTI Sunday.
The FGFA and Sukhoi 30MKI have structural similarities and the plant (Nasik) is well equipped to produce the new generation stealth fighter, he added.
“Definitely, it can be used for the FGFA. It will need a little bit of augmentation. We will not need major investment,” Raju said.
The facility at Nasik is set to fall idle after it delivers the last batch of 35 aircraft out of the total order of 222 to the Indian Air Force.
In 2007, India and Russia had inked an inter-governmental pact for the FGFA project but no concrete decision has yet been taken on it.
Pitching for the FGFA project, Raju said it would be an opportunity for India to acquire high technology which has not been offered to it by any other country except Russia.
“I will not comment on the justification on expenditure on the project. But, as a country, if we are looking for fifth generation technology and if somebody has offered it to us, then definitely I would like to go for it regardless of the expenditure,” Raju said.
There is a view in the defence establishment that India should not go for the project considering the possible cost which has been roughly estimated at around USD 25 billion (around Rs.
1.61 lakh crore).
The defence ministry is likely to soon take a call on a report submitted recently by a high-level committee set up by the government to examine various aspects of the project.
In December 2010, India had agreed to pay USD 295 million (Rs 1,897 crore) towards the preliminary design of the fighter, which is called the ‘Perspective Multi-role Fighter’ in India. However, the negotiations faced various hurdles in the subsequent years.
In February last year, India and Russia revived talks on the project after a clearance from then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
Raju said the Nasik plant may be converted to a maintenance facility for the Sukhoi fleet if the FGFA project does not take off. The delivery of the remaining Sukhoi jets is likely to be over by early 2020.
India will sign the final research and development contract with Russia for the fifth-generation fighter aircraft only if there is full-scale transfer of technology and added benefits. The decision has been taken at the highest levels in order to not repeat the mistakes of the entire Su-30MKI jet acquisition program from Russia that cost 55,717 crore to India without any tangible help in developing indigenous fighter-manufacturing capabilities,”
India and Russia still need to discuss certain things in the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) such as exports and approvals post manufacturing. “Some issues are to be addressed in terms of manufacturing after completing the project
India has sought clarity on stealth technology and rights over export to third countries before signing a detailed design and development contract on Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA). Both the countries are expected to sign the contract in the coming two-three months
India and Russia have restarted talks on the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) project after Moscow agreed to cut the price to $3.7 billion from 6 billion
Even as Russia offered a cheaper deal on the PAK-FA fifth generation fighter aircraft, the Indian Air Force feels that it is still too expensive even at this price. Russia last week, offered to slash price of its new Sukhoi T-50 (PAK-FA)s technological know-how under the FGFA from $6 billion to $3
India is ready to reconsider its decision on joint development of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) with Russia if an appropriate cost sharing formula is arrived at. Although India has conveyed to Russia its unwillingness to go ahead with the FGFA m due to high cost involved in the project, the negotiations between the two countries have not yet been shelved, Official sources were quoted by PTI as saying Sunday
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