India’s quest for 5th-Gen stealth fighter hits hurdle

India’s biggest defence project in the making, the critical joint development of the fifth‐generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) with Russia, has flown into some rough weather. Defence ministry sources said the inking of the final design and R&D contract for the stealth fighter has been hit by a huge delay, with Russia also jacking up costs for the futuristic project. “It’s very unlikely the FGFA final design contract will be concluded in the 2013 ‐2014 fiscal,” said a source. This contract was to be inked in 2012 as per the then revised timeline after completion of the preliminary design contract (PDC) phase. India will eventually end up spending close to $35 billion over the next two decades to induct over 200 such “swing‐role” fighters. The plan till last year was that India would begin inducting the FGFA from 2022onwards, with IAF test pilots getting three prototypes in 2014, 2017 and 2019 for trials at the Hindustan Aeronautics manufacturing facility at Ozar.

Source: Times of India

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