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India uses Russian avionics in new fighter

Feb. 7, 2013 at 12:05 AM   |   Comments

BANGALORE, India, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- India's new Perspective Multirole Fighter will be equipped with Russian avionics.

The new Sukhoi/HAL FGFA aircraft is modeled on the Russian Federation's Sukhoi PAK FA PMF T-50 fifth-generation combat aircraft.

Obedinnoe Avaitstroitel'noi Corporatsii (United Aircraft Corp.) President Mikhail Pogosyan said in Bangalore that the next-generation fighter will "have a single set of on-board equipment," adding that it is a requirement of the Indian air force.

UAC has built four prototypes of the fifth-generation T-50 fighter, which are going operational tests, Russkoe Informatsionnoe Agentstvo news agency reported Wednesday.

Pogosyan said the Indian T-50 variant would be built in a single-seat configuration.

The head of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Alekandr Fomin said that the first T-50 Indian-Russian joint venture prototype may appear in 2015-16.

The Indian air force is planning to purchase as many as 144 of the fifth-generation fighters, down from a projected purchase order of more than 200 aircraft.

The PAK FA is intended to be the successor to the Russian air force's MiG-29 and Sukhoi-27.

The T-50 prototype completed its first test flight in early 2010 in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The first public demonstration of the fighter was in August 2011 at the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2011 in Zhukovsky, near Moscow.

The Russian Ministry of Defense will purchase the first 10 Sukhoi/HAL FGFA evaluation aircraft and then 60 fighters after 2016, with the fighter expected to have a service life of 30-35 years.

The Sukhoi/HAL FGFA is the Russian Federation's first fifth-generation aircraft equipped with a fundamentally new avionics and radar with a phased antenna array.

A model mockup of the new Sukhoi/HAL FGFA was displayed at the Bangalore international air show AERO INDIA 2013 at the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. display.

The agreement on the joint development and production of fifth-generation fighter aircraft was signed by Rosoboronekhsport and HALin 2007 in Moscow at the seventh session of the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission on military-technical cooperation.

The contract provides for the companies to cooperate on research and development activities. Under terms of the contract, the Russian side trained Indian professionals and provided data and software to create a single joint working environment, with Indian experts beginning January 2012 to work in the Russian Federation and Russian specialists sent to India.

Beyond the fighter program, the Russian Federation's UAC is involved in other Russian-Indian programs, including modernizing the Indian air force Russian-built Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, the joint Russian-Indian Brahmos missile.

India, the world's biggest arms importer, intends to spend about $100 billion over the decade in upgrading its mostly Soviet-era military hardware to keep afield with China's rapidly increasing defense spending.

Indian Defense Minister AK Antony, at a news conference at the Bangalore air show, said: "It is our duty. If they are doing it, we will also do it."

Antony also said the presence of a Chinese delegation at the show was a "welcome step."

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