India may opt for off-the-shelf purchase of three squadrons of the Russian T-50 fifth generation stealth fighters, instead of taking the earlier Joint R & D route to manufacture 127 fighters in India.
Just as the Indian MoD abandoned discussions for licence-manufacture of the Rafale in India and went in for direct procurement of three squadrons, it may do the same in case of the T-50 for speedier procurement.
The T-50 aircraft, also called the PAK-FA (Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation) is currently in advanced development in Russia with five prototypes undergoing tests. The Russian air force plans to induct 12 aircraft from 2016 onwards.
Russian Deputy Defence Minister in charge of Armaments, Yuri Borisov, has said in May this year after visiting the Sukhoi T-50 production plant, “the company is ready to start mass production of the fifth generation fighter starting in 2016”.
The Tribune newspaper reported quoting unnamed sources that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has scaled down its needs in view of budgetary constraints and may now buy three squadrons (around 18 planes in each), besides a few more for pilot training.
Another reason could be long gestation period; it will take about 8 years for the first aircraft to be delivered to the IAF in case India opts for the R&D contract route. India is faced with a severe shortage of aircraft and with China developing its own stealth fighter, India need to come up with its own sooner than later.
Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had told parliament last week that the preliminary design stage of the fifth generation fighter aircraft programme completed in June 2013 incurring an expenditure of Rs 1,483.15 crore (US$240 million).
The next stage will commence after signing of the R&D contract, he had said.
The R & D contract is expected to cost US$ 350 million. India has not yet responded to Russian request for starting discussion on the R & D contract, perhaps in view of the new thinking of procuring the planes off-the-shelf.
The Russian T-50 PAK-FA could become the new king of aerobatics with the stealth aircraft being capable of flying at Mach 2 speed and bringing its speed down to Zero in mid-flight. It is capable of performing all known aerobatic manoeuvres while introducing some new ones which promise to take onlookers breath away
Russian NPP Zvezda has successfully completed production and testing of survival equipment for the pilots of T-50 fifth generation Fighter PAK-FA. NPP Zvezda Director and General Designer, Sergey Pozdnyakov was quoted as saying by Russian Aviation on Monday, the testing of multi-purpose protective helmet ZSh-10, KM-36M oxygen mask, PPK-7 anti-G suit, VKK-17 pressurized suit and KS-50 oxygen system has also been successfully completed
United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) of Russia will accelerate the development of the T-50 fighter aircraft also known as by its Russian abbreviation PAK-FA by building three more prototypes. The prototypes will be delivered to the testing team consisting of Irkut Corp, a company under UAC and the Russian air force which is jointly testing the prototypes
Russian government has confirmed that they have received a request from the Indian authorities for allowing IAF pilots to fly the T-50/PAK FA, before New Delhi decides to join the FGFAs development or decides to make an outright purchase. An official reaction from the Russian Embassy states, “[W]e may confirm that the request was forwarded by the Indian side to the Russian partners
Deadlock over Indias Rafale purchase has been broken after the Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) gave a go ahead for further negotiations to buy 36 fighter jets. According to sources, the French proposed 8 billion Euro earlier for the deal
The radar system for Russian Sukhoi T-50 combat aircraft is 99 per cent ‘ready to enter serial production after a series of development tests are completed. The Tikhomirov NIIP active phased array radar system built for Russias first fifth-generation combat jet, the Sukhoi T-50 consists of one forward-looking X-band radar in the nose section and two side-scanning arrays as well as L-band antennas along the wing flaps
Russian fifth generation fighter, PAK FA (T-50) will be fitted with automatic rapid-fire cannon with new heat resistant ammunition. “The automatic rapid-fire aircraft cannon is used on all the jets and the new one (PAK FA) will also be fitted with it
Differences over price, technical specifications and offsets are threatening to derail or substantially delay negotiations to purchase 36 Dassault Rafale aircraft by India. While India is going by the price arrived at during the previous negotiations to purchase 126 aircraft, Dassault is reportedly asking for a new price since this a completely new negotiation
Russian Helicopter Systems has completed the first civilian flight of an AgustaWestland AW 139 helicopter assembled at the joint Russian-Italian Helivert in Moscow. The Russian Helicopter Systems flew the helicopter as part of an urban transportation development program, Russian Aviation reported Tuesday
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