Russia has offered to slash price of its new Sukhoi T-50 (PAK-FA)’s technological know-how under the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) from $6 billion to $3.7 billion to India.
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, Indian Express News Daily reported Wednesday.
The initial design contract, under which India and Russia were to contribute an initial $6 billion each for prototype development and production has not been signed so far. Russia went ahead with the development and claims that it will enter service with the Russian Air Force in 2016 and enters serial production in 2017.
India and Russia signed an inter-governmental agreement to co-develop and co-produce FGFA in 2007 followed by $295 million preliminary design contract in December 2010. A total number of 127 single-seat fighters in India is estimated to cost about $30 billion.
“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,” the news daily quoted a senior defence ministry official as saying.
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.