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India and Russia sign fifth generation fighter aircraft design contract

India’s Ministry of Defence controlled Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and Russia’s Rosoboronexport and Sukhoi signed a contract todday for the preliminary design of the Indo-Russian Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA).

The FGFA aircraft to be jointly developed is termed Perspective Multi-role Fighter (PMF). The PMF draws upon the basic structural and system design of the Russian FGFA Technology Demonstrator PAK-FA with modifications to meet the more stringent specifications of the Indian Air Force.

The fighter will have advanced features such as stealth, supercruise, ultra-manoeuvrability, highly integrated avionics suite, enhanced situational awareness, internal carriage of weapons and Network Centric Warfare capabilities.

The broad scope of bilateral cooperation during the joint project covers the design and development of the PMF, its production-ising, and joint marketing to third countries. Options include the design and development of a twin-seater variant and the integration of an advanced engine with higher thrust at a later stage.

With an expected outlay running in to the hundreds of billions, the total cost including options and the value of production aircraft will make FGFA/PMF, the biggest defence programme in the history of India.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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