Indian Test Pilots to now fly the PAK-FA fighter
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).
Two limited series production of the PAK-FA fighters will be delivered to the Russian Air Force by 2017. India has not decided on the number of fighter jets it would commit to induct into its Air Force mainly because it is unsure of the fighter jets performance and capabilities without having to test it first hand.
But with the new positive environment of allowing Indian Test Pilots to fly the PAK-FA and renewed govt. push from both countries, the project surely looks to be on track.
The govt. in New Delhi would surely want to capitalise on the FGFA (Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft) project under the ‘Make in India’ initiative and hence finalising the deal would be a win-win situation for both Russia and India.
Russia has shown eagerness to work with India on a world class fighter jet and it is now time for us to reciprocate in the fastest possible time.