Antony to convey FGFA concerns this month

By SP's Special Correspondent November 6, 2012 Photo(s): By Sukhoi

Concerns over disparities between India's investment in the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) and its substantive workshare in the programme will be raised by Defence Minister A.K. Antony when he visits Moscow later this month en route to Severodvinsk for the commissioning of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. While India is an equal partner in funding the ambitious programme, HAL, the Indian partner, currently only has 15 per cent of the responsibility.

Top MoD sources however have told SP's that while concerns will be conveyed, the Russian side has already mentioned that HAL is currently not technologically equipped to take on a greater share of the design and testing work, and that there will be a two-three year gestation period before know-how is transmitted between the two partners. HAL has contested this. There are currently four prototypes of the Russian T-50 PAK FA flying. HAL unveiled a scale model of its version of the T-50, designated PMF at Aero India 2013 in February this year. The PMF is understood to contain approximately 46 modifications to the original.