India to step on gas on 5th gen fighter jet projects with Russia

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New Delhi, Jan 22: India and Russia have finally agreed to overcome the reasons behind the delay in the co-production and co-designing of a 5th Generation Fighter Aircraft. Althoug the two countries had agreed to co-design and build the aircrafts in 2012, the UPA government failed to operationalise the projects. In fact, both the countries were required to spend US $5.5 billion each towards the cost of designing, infrastructure build-up.

The current decision was taken when the Defence minister of India Manohar Parrikar and his russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, met 14th Meeting of the Indian-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation, which took place in New Delhi on Wednesday.

IAF

Incidentally, the 5th generation fighter planes are already being flight-tested in Russia and Parrikar said that renewal of a deal would be a waste of time and resources. Russia has already built 5-prototype in single pilot version. The Indian version, however, is a two-seater accomodating the pilot and a co-pilot, who would be functioning as a Weapon Systems Operator (WSO).

Regarding the stealth aircrafts, Parrikar has preponed the deadline saying that India wants these technologies much before 2024-2025. Abiding by the 'Make in India' agenda of the present government, 127 fighter jets are to be built in Nashik at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited facility.

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