India to jointly develop 250 fifth generation fighters

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 04, 2010 11:50 hrs

India will have a fleet of 200 to 250 fifth generation fighter aircraft, which it is planning to jointly develop with Russia over the next 10 years.

India has finalized a preliminary design contract (PDC) with Russia after years of deliberations and will jointly develop a fifth-generation stealth fighter with Russia. Each fifth generation fighter is likely to cost India about 100 million dollars.

Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik, said: "We are looking for about 200 to 250 fifth generation fighters. Some of the features we like the aircraft to possess are swing role, could fly for longer durations without refueling, super cruise, better reliability and maintainability, higher level mission computers, etc."

Speaking to reporters ahead of the Indian Air Force's 78th Anniversary this year, he said on Monday that the fifth generation fighters will start rolling out by 2017.

The contract is likely to be signed during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to New Delhi in December, if the preliminary design contract is approved by India.

The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited would be the Indian designer and builder of the stealth fighter and could cost India six billion dollar.

India's share will be about 30 percent of the total design in the stealth fighter project, and mainly focus on the composite components with the stealth function and some electronics equipments, such as avionics, electronic warfare systems and cockpit displays.

India will also be responsible to design from the single-seat stealth fighter into a two-seater type, which would be deployed by the Indian Air Force.

Russia's Sukhoi Design Bureau has been developing the stealth fifth-generation fighter PAK-FA with a range of more than 5,000 km since 1990's. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

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