Indian shealth fighter FGFA aka PAK-FA Update

The Sukhoi/HAL Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) is a fifth-generation fighter being developed by India and Russia. It is a derivative project from the PAK FA (T-50 is the prototype) being developed for the Russian Air Force.

The completed FGFA will include a total of 43 improvements over the T-50, including stealth, supercruise, advanced sensors, networking and combat avionics. It is a multirole fighter designed for air superiority and attack roles. The fighter is planned to have supercruise, stealth, supermaneuverability, and advanced avionics to overcome the prior generation of fighter aircraft as well as ground and maritime defences.

Two separate prototypes will be developed, one by Russia and a separate one by India. Russia agreed to the demand of the Indian Air force that it must be a two-seater fighter. The Indian version will be a two-seater for pilot and co-pilot/Weapon Systems Operator (WSO).

After hurdles and issues many sources quoting contradicting reports about the FGFA acquisition plans. The reports include low number of FGFA acquisition who leaving no details about PAK FA and more than 40% less contract value that means the amount decreases from initial $6 billion to some $3.7-$4 billions with the initial investment of $1 billion by both Russia and India.

Two independent sources from Broadsword and Arming India confirmed that the deal value gradually decreased from the earlier agreed $6 billion into less than $4 billion. Both nations have to spend nearly $8 billion for the project. as already said the PAK FA is 50-50 work share for both India and Russia. while Russia already invested huge amount on the PAK FA project and awaiting India to invest the promised amount in the project.

Once again, The PAK FA project is nothing but a significant advantage to the Russians, India buys the entire PAK FA research and development papers and technology for some $4 billions. Then build the same copy in Indian plants. Just like 100% Transfer of Technology. This allows India to modify or re engineer the PAK FA to design and develop the FGFA. The FGFA noting but a improved version of PAK FA with some Indian and Israeli components.

Under the earlier plan in 2008. IAF plans to buy nearly 250 FGFA units and another 144 PAK FA from Russia. Later the same cut downed by some 50%. Means India buys 120 FGFA and 63 PAK FA units. Now the numbers once again downed by just some 60 FGFA units only. Same like how the Americans once planned for the Raptor production, later it went upto just some 187 units than the proposed 750 units.

The IAF suspecting some glitches in the PAK FA. So they informed the authority to evaluate the PAK FA before investing into the Project. This is a precaution measure rather than falling in the trap just like the Su 30 MKI. The reason of MKI’s low service availability is mentioned as lack of service spares from Russia and issues in the Engine. So IAF won’t repeat the same once again.

Some information’s revealed that, India negotiating for the FGFA flyaway cost could be lesser than $200 million a piece. That means $4 billion for R&D, $300 million for PDC and XX number of FGFA into $200 million. so Typically the FGFA acquisition cost for some 60 units is estimated around $16 billions. that’s just for FGFA acquisition only. The flying cost, missiles, spares are extra. A easy calculation for someone, 10 years life span plus total package of 36 Rafale negotiated between some $9 billions. Fly away cost for single Rafale F 3 R is some $100 million only.

The Russians too not ready to induct the PAK FA in mass numbers. They plans to produce only 12 PAK FA units for just as trail squadron. Currently the Sukhoi developed nearly 11 PAK FA units for various testing. These prototypes being used to validate the PAK FA performance. The additional 12 PAK FA under the first LRIP may form as the trail squadron. and Russia plans to close the production line of till 2020.

Many aviation experts suggest the PAK FA engine problem yet to be resolved. without solving the engine issues and radar reflections from engines, the 5th gen project won’t complete. also many sources suggested the PAK FA’s proposed engine may be ready by 2018. after testing the engine it is ready for mass production only after 2023.

So Russia ordered more number of Su 35 S for the Russian Aerospace force. Actually there is no common difference in the Su 35 S and PAK FA except those active sensor and processing systems in the PAK FA. meantime China and Pakistan are closely to get the Su 35 S in coming days. As Chinese Su 35 S orders in production line and the Pakistani’s yet to sign the contract.

Anyway till now India spend some $300 millions on the FGFA program. That India and Russia signs the PDC- Preliminary design contract. The contract details the, FGFA’s detailed specifications and planned re works in the existing PAK FA platform.

So far there is no confirmations from the government about the planned acquisition of FGFA or the PAK FA. How ever as I already said either India may walk away from the FGFA program or buy less number of FGFA.

Source:- Life Of Solider

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