New Delhi: India and Russia have agreed on the long-pending work share for joint production of the under-development Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA). The inking of the work share contracted is expected to happen soon, with India committing to invest $4 billion over the next few years to develop a tailor-made FGFA for India.
Under this agreement, the two countries would produce up to 100 of the fighter jets, while Russia is expected to share critical, new generation technologies with India, the Economic Times reported today.
The two sides are also readying to incorporate a joint venture by October this year for the production of Kamov Ka-226 helicopters in India, for which they had agreed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in December 2015.
Officials of the two nations are accelerating the two India-Russia projects ahead of a repeat summit meeting between Modi and Putin planned in October in Goa, India.
The Economic Times report cited unnamed officials as saing that the FGFA programme would yeild “rich dividends” to India in terms of the quantum of technology on offer. From a preliminary document of two dozen pages, the two sides are said to have agreed on 650 pages of detailed, specific plans on technology sharing, the official was quoted as saying.
The project reportedly got a boost last year from Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar after being on the brink of collapse. One of the major concerns of the Indian side was the development of a new jet engine for the fighter and its weapons package. India has already spent $300 million in a preliminary design contract for the project with Russia that was completed in June 2013.
In the initial stage, HAL and Russian Helicopters will sign up for the joint company but the Indian side is clear that a private sector partner will be brought in at a later stage to assist the project, the report said. Pune-based Kalyani Strategic Systems is tipped as a front-runner for this partnership to manufacture helicopter engines for the Ka-226.
On the chopper contract, officials were cited as saying that work is being accelerated to ensure that a new joint company is incorporated by the time the summit level talks begin.