India is apparently unhappy with its share of work in the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) project with Russia and will take up the issue at the highest levels, PTI said on Thursday. Defence Minister A K Antony will flag the issue when he visits Moscow next month, the news agency said.
India’s work share in the research and development and other aspects of the project at the moment is only around 15 percent, even though New Delhi is investing 50 percent of the cost, the news agency cited officials from the Indian Air Force (IAF) as saying.
This will have an impact on India's indigenous capabilities to develop such an advanced fighter aircraft, the officials told the news agency. The IAF objections were raised at a CII event on energising aerospace sector in India, according to the report
“We have a major opportunity in the FGFA programme,” IAF Deputy Chief Air Marshal S Sukumar was quoted as saying. “At the moment it is not very much in favour of Indian development. We are flagging it through the Government. It should be much more focused towards indigenous development capability.” Sukumar was commenting on the programme and the opportunities that it could provide for the Indian defence sector, according to the report.
The Sukhoi/HAL FGFA is a fifth-generation fighter being developed by Russia and India. It is a derivative project from the PAK FA (T-50 is the prototype) being developed for the Indian Air Force. FGFA is the official designation for the Indian version. The two sides recently completed 'deep design phase' for the Indian variant, which would be lighter because of massive use of composite materials than the all metal T-50 prototypes.
At the sidelines of the MAKS-2013 airshow in Moscow in September, HAL Nasik complex Managing Director, S. Subrahmanyan, who looks after joint projects with Russia, expressed confidence that the first jointly designed prototype will take to skies in 2015 and the induction of FGFA could began as early as 2017.
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