Acknowledging that talks on the fifth generation fighter program with India have been stopped for the time being, Russia has said that it is has not closed the door on the deal and is hopeful that negotiations will restart in the future.
Saying that Russia has made significant progress on the fifth generation program – it has termed it version of the aircraft as the SU 57 – a top official has said that options are open to take talks forward in `any future format’.
“We have advanced on the fighter jet and have a supply order from the Russian defence ministry. We have not shut any doors, we understand that it is a complicated issue from the financial point of view as well. So, when India is ready to return to the project, we are open to negotiate its future,” said Dmitry Shugaev, Director of the Russian Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation FSMTC said in an interaction.
The official who heads Russian military exports, said that talks in the future could vary from a joint venture approach or a technical cooperation project for the fifth generation fighters. As reported by ET, the $ 9 billion deal to co-develop a next generation fighter with Russia fell through after the defence research and development organisation (DRDO) claimed that it either had all the technologies such a project would bring to India or was in the process of developing these indigenously.
The mega deal, which would have put India in a select group of nations with a fifth generation fighter aircraft – others being US and China – was called off earlier this year with a decision to purchase the jets off the shelf in the future if the need arises.
The nail in the coffin for the `PAK FA project’ as it was termed by India was the insistence by DRDO that it had the ability to develop all technologies needed.
The fifth generation jet project was an offer by Russia to share and co develop a new fighter tailored for India that would see significant percentage of the research being carried out in India and a complete transfer of technology.
India has already paid $ 295 million to Russia for the preliminary design phase of the project. The deal being negotiated was to make a tailored jet for India with four flying prototypes to be delivered by 2019-20. It also included production facilities for at least 127 aircraft in India.