A Russian-Indian fifth-generation fighter jet could be developed by 2015-2016, a Russian defense industry official said on Tuesday.
Moscow and New Delhi are expected to sign a contract on a joint development of the new fighter in the near future, focusing on the design concept and technical requirements put forward by India.
"I hope that we will be able to build a joint fifth-generation aircraft in the next five to six years. It is a time-consuming and complex project," said Alexander Fomin, first deputy head of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation.
The new aircraft will be most likely based on Russia's T-50 prototype fifth-generation fighter, which has already made two test flights and is expected to join the Russian Air Force in 2015.
India's Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) was reported to be seeking a 25% share in design and development in the project.
Fomin said the fighter for the Indian Air Force could incorporate several integrated on-board systems developed by third parties.
"The integration is good because we will not have to invent a bicycle and can use the things that our neighbors already have, but it is also a difficult task because we will have to combine all the elements in a unified system," the official said.
The new fighter for the Indian Air Force is expected to feature a two-seat cockpit, advanced electronics and could be armed with BrahMos supersonic missiles.
Russia has been developing its fifth-generation fighter since the 1990s. The current prototype, known as the T-50, was designed by the Sukhoi design bureau and built at a plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, in Russia's Far East.
Russian officials have already hailed the fighter as "a unique warplane" that combines the capabilities of an air superiority fighter and attack aircraft.
MOSCOW, March 2 (RIA Novosti)