PAK-FA/FGFA/T50/Su-57: Russia Pressing on with T-50, India out of the game
April 23/18: Babushka, it’s you not me! In pursuit of what it called the air force’s want for a better fighter, India has pulled out of its partnership with Russia in the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) program. In the works since 2007, the program has seen cooperation between Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau (Sukhoi) in developing and manufacturing a new fighter dubbed the Perspektivny Aviatsionny Kompleks Frontovoy Aviatsii, or “Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation” (PAK-FA). Now called the Su-57, seven prototypes are currently in flight-testing since the first took to the skies in 2010. With $8.63 earmarked for the procurement of 127 PAK-FAs that were stealthy, possessed 360-degree radar and had more powerful engines, the Indian Air Force (IAF) have now claimed that the aircraft being offered was not stealthy enough for a fifth-generation combat aircraft. India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is said to have conveyed the decision to a Russian ministerial delegation in February.
Russia wants a “5th generation” fighter that keeps it competitive with American offerings, and builds on previous aerial and industrial success. India wants to maintain technical superiority over its rivals, and grow its aerospace industry’s capabilities. They hope to work together, and succeed. Will they? And what does “success” mean, exactly?
So far, preliminary cooperation agreements have been signed between Sukhoi/United Aircraft Corporation, for a platform based on Sukhoi’s T50/PAK-FA design. This DID FOCUS article consolidates specific releases and coverage to date, and adds analysis of the program’s current state and future hurdles.
The PAK-FA/ FGFA
Development Timelines, Risks, & Differences of Opinion
Contracts & Key Events
2015 – 2018
2008 – 2009
2004 – 2007
Appendix A: “Fifth Generation”?
Appendix B: DID Analysis – Under Pressure (2008)
News and Views
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