De­fence Min­is­ter to con­vey FGFA con­cerns this month

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

Con­cerns over dis­par­i­ties be­tween In­dia’s in­vest­ment in the fifth­gen­er­a­tion 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, the Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Lim­ited (HAL), the In­dian part­ner, cur­rently only has 15 per cent of the re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Top Min­istry of De­fence ( 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.

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