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    Russia, India sign design contract for prototype multirole fighter

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    Russia and India signed a contract on Tuesday to jointly develop a design for a new fifth-generation multirole fighter.

    Russia and India signed a contract on Tuesday to jointly develop a design for a new fifth-generation multirole fighter.

    The document was signed between Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's current visit to India.

    Russia's Sukhoi holding and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited agreed in early 2010 to jointly develop a fifth-generation fighter jet based on the T-50 design.

    The project design cost is estimated at $295 million, shared equally between Russia and India.

    The two sides agreed to develop both a single-seat and a two-seat version of the aircraft by 2016, initially focusing on the single-seat version.

    Russia has been developing its own 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.

    Russia is planning to use the jointly-developed 5G fighter as an export version of T-50, while India is expecting the new fighter aircraft to enter service with its air force by 2020.

    NEW DELHI, December 21 (RIA Novosti)

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