India has signaled that negotiations on R&D are almost final except for some issues related to rights over export to third countries. "Secondary round i.e. R & D round is almost finalized except some issues related to the future of the aircraft. Because, when R&D phase will get over and you are not able to produce and sell, what is the point in developing? Whether we will have right to produce because there will be some IPRs over which Russia will have claimed. All these important aspects are being clarified properly," says Manohar Parrikar, India's Defense Minister in New Delhi.
Sources told Sputnik that a Russian delegation is arriving in New Delhi in the next few weeks to discuss all these aspects. The Indian government feels that before embarking on commercial production, every issue needs to be sorted out such as the aircraft's stealth capabilities or the right to export right. Parrikar said two to three months does not hold much importance for the project with a time frame of 10-15 years. Currently, both the countries are not discussing the number of aircraft to be produced under the project.
"We are trying to ascertain quantum of stealth, transfer of technology and whether we will be able to manufacture and sell jointly. All these aspects are being discussed because when we invest huge money ($5-6 billion) you are commercially not only producing for ourselves but considering exports as well. Secondly, stealth aspects should also be in conformity. So all these technical aspects are being looked into before going forward," Parrikar said.
The Indian Air Force has proposed building an indigenous FGFA called the Advanced Medium Combat Stealth Aircraft (AMCSA), but it still remains at the conceptual stage. Sweden's SAAB has offered to help in the development of AMCSA but the Indian establishment is yet to respond.
Meanwhile, China exhibited its fifth generation stealth fighter aircraft J-20 in November this year. The J-20 is expected to provide long range, hard-to-detect strike capacity to the PLA Air Force from 2018 onwards.