Aero India 2015: New UAC chief bullish on fifth-gen fighter progress
James Hardy, Bangalore - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
19 February 2015
The new head of Russia's UAC is confident that an FGFA contract will be signed with India in 2015. Source: IHS/Patrick Allen
New United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) CEO Yuri Slyusar is confident that Russia and India will sign a contract for the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) in 2015.
"Rosoboronexport [Russia's defence export body] is in the final stage of negotiations for the FGFA contract," Slyusar said on 19 February at Aero India 2015. "We think there is a possibility to sign the agreement within 2015. At least the Russian side thinks it will be done in 2015."
Slyusar, a deputy minister of Industry and Trade who replaced Mikhail Pogosian on 15 January, said that the two sides had signed preliminary and detailed design contracts for the FGFA programme, which is based on the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA fighter due to enter Russian Air Force service. "The level of co-operation we have with India [on this programme] is something we don't have with any other country," he added.
Pressed for details, he said that the workshare between the two countries on the FGFA was still the subject of negotiations, but "when we can tell you we will tell you" how the programme will be split between UAC and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
Indian officials have previously said that they are pushing Russia to restore Delhi's shared of the workload in the USD10.5 billion developmental programme after it was recently reduced from 25% to 13% without consultation. India is also seeking greater access to the fighter's design configuration, which it claims it is denied.
Enduring Indian reservations over the FGFA programme include questions about the fighter's AL-41F1 engine, although Slyusar said on 20 February that rig-testing for the next-generation Izdeliye 30 engine is under way.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) plans to acquire about 130 FGFA, down from an earlier projected requirement of around 220.
Meanwhile, UAC officials said the preliminary design for the HAL/UAC Medium Transport Aircraft had been completed and that the next step for the programme was to "define the technical performance characteristics". A Russian Air Force/IAF committee had been established to discuss this and after this was completed, the next step was to define the programme's "commercial parameters".
IHS Jane's reported in October 2012 that the two sides had signed a preliminary design phase (PDP) contract for the MTA, which is expected to have a payload of between 15 and 20 tonnes. Previously reported plans envisage 45 aircraft for the IAF, 100 for the Russian Air Force, and 60 for the international export market.
The Indian and Russian governments signed a collaborative agreement to develop the MTA in November 2007, with the joint venture between HAL and UAC being formed in 2010.
Aero India 2015: New UAC chief bullish on fifth-gen fighter progress - IHS Jane's 360