India and Russia have agreed in general on shared responsibility for the joint development of the fifth-generation fighter, the chairman of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) said.
Moscow and New Delhi are expected to sign a contract on the joint development of the new fighter in the near future, focusing on the design concept and technical requirements put forward by India.
"Currently, broad areas of work sharing have been identified. Composite materials, avionics, etc. could be some of the focus areas of HAL," Ashok Nayak said in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti.
Nayak did not specify the cost of the project but said it would be split evenly between India and Russia.
The sides agreed to develop both a single-seat and a two-seat versions of the aircraft by 2016, focusing on the single-seat version in the initial stages of development.
"Both versions will be put in service with the Indian Air Force," Nayak said.
The HAL chairman said the Indian side had already specified technical requirements for the single-seat version and passed them on to Russian manufacturers.
"The general agreement is that we work on both sides - the Russians and the Indians will cooperate on both versions of the aircraft," he said.
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.
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.
NEW DELHI, March 11 (RIA Novosti)