IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly reported that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has shelved its 11-year old collaborative Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) programme with Russia following enduring differences over its developmental cost and technological capabilities.
According to the Jane’s, Senior Indian officials, including National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra, recently informed a visiting Russian ministerial delegation that India was withdrawing from the programme.
The FGFA or Perspective Multi-role Fighter (PMF) is a joint project between Russia and India to development of fifth-generation fighter aircraft. It is a derivative project of the Russian Sukhoi Su-57 that is being developed for the Russian Air Force.
The completed FGFA should have included a total of 43 improvements over the Su-57, including stealth, supercruise, advanced sensors, networking and combat avionics. The Indian version was supposed to be a two-seater for pilot and co-pilot/weapon systems operator (WSO).
Jane’s also noted that the Indian officials are believed to have stated that the IAF could, at a later date, ‘revisit’ the FGFA project or alternatively acquire the fully developed platform once it had been inducted into the Russian Air Force, but did not elaborate.