“It is envisaged that the Indian FGFA will be an MKI version of what the Russians may ultimately designate the Su-50. The IAF and HAL will have total control over all electronics, systems and weapons,” a HAL official who was part of a delegation to Russia said recently.
He also denied suggestions that the IAF had made these drastic decisions on the FGFA because it did not believe HAL could handle such a complex project. “The new requirement and configuration has been frozen after the IAF and HAL held detailed discussions on what was and what wasn’t possible, keeping in mind very strict timelines. We also have to account for delays on the Russian side,” he said. Russia will supply the FGFA’s turbofan engines as well as a full range of stealth technologies, almost entirely unexplored in the Indian complex.
An official with the Russian Trade Federation in Delhi says, “It is important to the Russian government that this program does not falter in any way. The loss of the [Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft] competition was big for Moscow. And even though this is a co-development program, we have to work positively to ensure that the aircraft is ready for both our air forces on or before the planned period.”
Officials from UAC/Rosoboronexport will be in India toward the end of October for final discussions on the complex research and development agreement that will be signed in December.
T-50 photo: Sukoi