Saturday, August 20, 2011

Indo-Russian fifth generation fighter likely to compete in South Korean tender

Moscow: The export version of Russia’s T-50 fifth-generation fighter, also called as the PAK-FA, is likely to compete in a South Korean tender for 60 fighter aircraft with advanced Stealth capability. The version is being jointly developed by India and Russia and will be ready to fly in 2016.

India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will be a major beneficiary of this procurement as many of the aircraft electronics systems are to developed in India as part of the workshare agreement between India and Russia. The two countries are sharing the development cost of the project estimated at US$35 billion.

A RiaNovosi report quoting an unnamed official of the Moscow based Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade said that the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) had expressed an interest in having the T-50 compete along with Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightening II Joint Strike Fighter, Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle and the Eurofighter Typhoon. A report from Seoul said that the DAPA is likely to issue request for proposals late next year for the acquisition to happen by 2016-17. The PAK-FA is expected to ready for delivery in 2016-17 for both the Russian and India Air Forces.

The PAK-FA is scheduled to make its first pubic appearance at the Moscow International Air Show (MAKS 2011) currently on in the Russian capital. Two prototypes of the aircraft have been making test flights since 2010.

India plans to induct the FGFA by 2017. Defence Minister A K Antony had said during the Aero India 2011 show, "the difficulties in joining this programme are over. We've signed a deal with the Russians, and we will see the FGFA inducted by 2017".

Mikhail Pogosyan, chief executive of Russia's United Aircraft Corp said during a brief media interaction here that the Indo-Russian fifth generation project was on track.

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