New Delhi, Aug 23: After years of delay, India-Russia's joint Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) project is likely to gain momentum after Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) assuring that it would provide "second stage" engine for the Su-57 stealth fighter jet, said reports.
India and Russia had inked an inter-governmental pact for the FGFA project in 2007. However, negotiations faced various hurdles in the subsequent years.
UAC president Yuri Slyusar rubbished reports that India may withdraw from the project and said: "the topic is not closed."
"It has been said that India is withdrawing from this project. No, they are not. I hope very much our talks will be ultimately crowned by the designing stage and we will develop our joint fifth-generation aircraft," Slyusar told the Rossiya-1 television channel.
The proposed second stage engine would enable Su-57 fighter jet to have super-cruise feature which is a key requirement for a stealth aircraft.
UEC head of marketing Anton Chechukov reportedly said super-cruise means an ability to cruise at supersonic speed without after-burners which translates into a lower heat signature besides enormous fuel savings
The main hurdle in developing a Fifth Generation fighter has been the engine which should be able to deliver the performance needed for an advanced aircraft.
India has also been working on its own engine for next generation fighter jets but the project has not made much progress.
The AMCA 5th Generation Stealth Fighter Project:
The AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft) is being developed by an aerospace industry team which consist of Aeronautical Development Agency as a design firm and is to be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). AMCA would likely to be a single-seat, twin-engine, stealth super-manoeuvrable all-weather multirole fighter aircraft.
AMCA should not be confused be with a separate FGFA programme which is a co-venture between the Russians and HAL, so it is not an indigenous project. The FGFA project with Russia would be able to roll out fifth-generation aircraft by 2020.
AMCA is totally different since it will completely be made by India. But for it to become a reality, the development of Kaveri engine is crucial. DRDO will look to develop many of its 5th generation systems ingenuously, so tentatively it should be ready around 2025. Some say that project may also get delayed up to 2030.