Indian defense minister Manohar Parrikar will be discussing the delayed fifth generation fighter aircraft development program along with multi-role transport aircraft on his visit to Moscow next month.
The minister will co-chair a meeting of Inter Governmental Commission on Military Technical Co-operation (IRIGCMTC) on November 2.
The FGFA combines stealth, super-cruise capability, super-maneuverability, data fusion and multi-sensor integration on a single fighter.
It was in 2007 that the Indo-Russian inter-governmental agreement for the FGFA was inked. It was followed by the $295 million preliminary design contract in December 2010.
India had asked Russia to permit test-pilots of Indian Air force to fly its fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) last month.
The option about making an outright purchase of yet undisclosed number of the FGFA is reportedly being thought of in lines with the way Narendra Modi decided to buy the Rafales. Modi is scheduled to visit Moscow in December next.
Retired Air Marshal and former vice chief of air staff, Pranob K Barbora told Defenseworld last month that “Despite our best attempts to have our pilots undertaking ‘proving flights’ of the MiG-21 BIS and Su-30 MKI, we could not have the Russians to agree to it.” This time the effort is again being made to do the same.
The research and development contract signed by the erstwhile UPA government has costed the country $ 400 million. And sources say, since then the price of the aircraft, being used by the Russian Air Force has shot up substantially.
Next stage of the contracting process, the signing of the joint development agreement, is being held back, while the Modi government is yet to decide the exact path it should take.