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Aero India 2015

BLACKEAGLE

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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
 

BLACKEAGLE

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Aero India 2015: Indian Air Force chief adds to MMRCA confusion
Rahul Bedi, Bangalore - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
19 February 2015
http://www.janes.com/article/49145/aero-india-2015-indian-air-force-chief-adds-to-mmrca-confusion


The chief of the IAF has said that the MMRCA requirement is vital but that it did not specifically have to be the Dassault Rafale. Source: IHS/Patrick Allen
India's Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha has added to the prevailing confusion over the purchase of 126 Dassault Rafale fighters by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Addressing a press conference at Aero India 2015 on 19 February, ACM Raha said that to make up for fast depleting fighter numbers it was important for the IAF to swiftly induct a platform for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) requirement, but it did not "specifically" have to be the Rafale.

"It is important we have an MMRCA. I would not say Rafale, but we need to have it [MMRCA] in the quickest possible time," the IAF chief said.

He stated that with the IAF's legacy fighters like MiG-21s and MiG-27s facing retirement during the next five to six years, it was vital for the IAF to acquire new platforms to maintain a force level of 42 fighter squadrons. In recent years this had dropped to 32 squadrons and this number is slated to reduce even further if new platforms were not speedily inducted.

The air chief's remarks, however, further fuelled speculation that the deal for 126 Rafales to meet the MMRCA requirement could well be on the rocks.

The purchase is reportedly deadlocked over Dassault's refusal to take responsibility for the 108 Rafales that the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is to licence produce in accordance with the 2007 MMRCA tender. Eighteen of 126 aircraft are to be acquired in flyaway condition.

ACM Raha said that three of four subcommittees negotiating the Rafale tender had completed their tasks of determining offsets, maintenance support and technology transfer to HAL to licence produce Rafales.

The fourth, the Cost Negotiation Committee (CNC), was still in consultation with Dassault and was yet to submit its report to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), he said.

The stalemate over the CNC's deliberations concerns the escalated contract price - which has reportedly doubled to around USD20 billion - and the standoff between Dassault and the MoD over the licensed production of the fighters.

This impasse prompted Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to say recently that the IAF could acquire additional licence-built Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters if the Rafale deal fell through.

ACM Raha, however, disagreed with Parrikar and said that additional Su-30s were not an acceptable substitute for the MMRCA requirement.

"They are different types of aircraft and cannot replace each other; they only complement each other," he said.

The ACM also reiterated that there was no alternative for the IAF other than acquiring MMRCA. "There is no plan B [to the MMRCA]," he said.

ACM Raha also admitted that air force capabilities were being affected by delays in the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) programme with Russia and the induction of the locally developed Tejas Light Combat Aircraft.
Aero India 2015: Indian Air Force chief adds to MMRCA confusion - IHS Jane's 360
 

UAE

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Great for India. They have been working very hard, they made some progress and they shall bear the fruit of thier hard work. Bad news for Pakistan. With all the amount of money they get from the GCC real progress has yet to be achieved. India has a very solid defense industry. Who knows we might see indian made harwdares competing in the military market very soon.
 
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