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. Russian delegation is expected to arrive in New Delhi to discuss all these aspects in the coming weeks.
"Secondary round i.e. R & D round is almost finalized except some issues related to the future of the aircraft. Because, when R&D phase will get over and you are not able to produce and sell, what is the point in developing? Whether we will have right to produce because there will be some IPRs over which Russia will have claimed. All these important aspects are being clarified properly," Sputnik quoted Indian Defense Minister, Manohar Parrikar as saying in New Delhi Tuesday.
“Two to three months does not hold much importance for the project with a time frame of 10-15 years,” Parrikar said.
Currently, both the countries are not discussing the number of aircraft to be produced under the project. "We are trying to ascertain quantum of stealth, transfer of technology and whether we will be able to manufacture and sell jointly. All these aspects are being discussed because when we invest huge money ($5-6 billion) you are commercially not only producing for ourselves but considering exports as well.
“Secondly, stealth aspects should also be in conformity. So, all these technical aspects are being looked into before going forward," Parrikar said.
The Russian-Indian FGFA has stealth capabilities and is based on the Russian T-50 prototype jet. The FGFA project came about following the signing of a Russian-Indian cooperation agreement on October 18, 2007.
Both the countries signed the primary contract in December 2010. India has spent $242 million on the primary contract. The Indian Air Force has proposed building an indigenous FGFA called the Advanced Medium Combat Stealth Aircraft (AMCSA), but it still remains at the conceptual stage. Sweden's SAAB has offered to help in the development of AMCSA but the Indian establishment is yet to respond.
China's display of its fifth generation stealth fighter FC-31 in November last year may force New Delhi to speedup FGFA deal.