India and Russia to Press on With Fifth-Generation Fighter Development

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This week, the head of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) announced that a full R&D collaboration contract would be signed in 2015 with New Delhi for joint work on the derivative Indian version of the PAK FA T-50 fifth-generation fighter jet, the Perspective Multi-role Fighter (PMF).

The contract could be signed as early as July, as a follow-up to Indian Prime Minister’s Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia. According to an unnamed source within the Indian Ministry of Defense (MOD), India is compromising on various points of conflict over the joint R&D program.

Most interestingly, the draft agreement will include a fixed order of 154 PMFs, and include a compromise on work share, a firm commitment to the number of single- versus double-seat PMF (aka Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft) jets, and steps that specifically address each of the approximate 40 changes that the Indian Air Force (IAF) wants in comparison to the current T-50 prototype.

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