New Delhi (Sputnik) — India's state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has termed the Indo-Russia Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft project as the best technology offer India has ever received, and that it is a great opportunity for India as a country and for the defense industry as well.
HAL Chairman T Suvarna Raju said he hoped India's Ministry of Defense would soon sanction the project while claiming that the first aircraft would be ready in three years from the date of approval.
"We are still hopeful. It is an opportunity for the industry as well as for the country. This is an opportunity for us to go in for this kind of technology which has not been offered to us by any other country," Raju said.
However, delays were caused by New Delhi and Moscow disagreeing over many fundamental aspects of the joint development project, including work and cost share, aircraft technology, as well as the number of aircraft to be ordered.
"Technology-wise, we have done the preliminary design already. It's just one step more to move on to. The fifth generation is an opportunity for India to learn the technologies and I would definitely see this will be the first project, the way the contract has been written, it has lots of benefits and it will definitely have a very positive impact," Raju added.
The Russian-Indian Sukhoi/HAL FGFA will be based on the Russian PAK FA T-50 prototype jet. Russia has developed six T-50 prototypes and the second stage of the trial is underway following the completion of the first set of flight tests. It is likely to be completed by 2018, paving the way for the serial production of the aircraft for induction into services starting 2019.