India, Russia Sort Out Differences On Fighter Jet Project

India and Russia have generally agreed upon the amount
and division of work during the research and development (R&D) stage
of the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) project. 
A
contract for the R&D phase is being prepared and expected to be
signed this year, said Yuli Slyusar, president and chairman of Russia’s
United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) at Aero India 2015 in Bengaluru.
“The
Russian and Indian parties have generally agreed on the work share of
each,” said company officials but refused to divulge specific details at
this stage.
The work share of Hindustan Aeronautics
Limited (HAL)
has been a contentious issue as the project will have
equal investment between India and Russia and is likely to cost over $30
billion for about 400 aircraft. India plans to induct 144 of them.
PAKFA T-50_ shark_camouflage
PAKFA T-50_ shark_camouflage
But
HAL’s share in the work has been limited to a meagre 13 per cent so far
which will not build any critical technological gains. Both sides have
been holding discussions to sort this out before the final agreement.
FGFA
is crucial for Indian Air Force’s evolving structure as was recently
acknowledged by the air chief recently. The final announcement could
come later this year with President Pranab Mukherjee visiting Moscow in
June, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi expected to visit Russia twice.