SOURCE: Anand SG / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Speaking to Indian media on the sidelines of Air India 2017 Exhibition Viktor N Kladov, Director of International Corporation Regional Policy, Rostec, stated, ” we are talking about new design and jointly developed 5th generation fighter jets. It will have a new engine in 5th generation features. we are not talking about the Pak-Fa a Russian Prototype earlier offered as a base to develop FGFA.
While Indian media were unsure what exactly was offered to India but Russias out of the box offer could be due largely attributed to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar who during Aero India exhibition had stated that a Ministry of Defence has constituted a team to look into various aspects of FGFA proposal and it will likely to submit its report within a month .
Later in the same month Russia and United Arab Emirates decided to join to work on the future light fifth generation fighter aircraft based on Mig-29 from 2018 on wards . Proposed future 5th generation plane will be created on the basis of Russia’s Mig-29 and will be replacing Mig 29 series from Russian inventory .
Mig lightweight 5th generation fighter concept was first offered to India way before Russia had decided to develop the concept of fifth generation fighter aircraft called PAK-FA proposed by Sukhoi. Although Sukhoi won the 5th Gen PAK-FA competition against Mig, the decision to award Sukhoi contract was largely attributed to Sukhoi’s strong financial base which had successfully bagged massive orders from China and India for its Su-30 series when compared to Mig which was near bankrupt then after collapse of Soviet union. Russia’s decision to go with Sukhoi also influenced India’s decision to a large extended which meant India also decided to go with the tide and base its FGFA requirement on base T-50 concept.
Indian Air Force already has raised questions on technical shortfalls of the Pak-Fa concept to be truly defined as 5th generation fighter aircraft. Revive ordered by Indian Government on sidelines of strong objection from Indian Air Force suggests development of FGFA might not take place but since India has been offered other so called 5th generation joint development offer largely based on Mig-XX Light 5th generation fighter aircraft, India should study their proposal and decide if they want to be part of the program since development of the aircraft is still 7-8 years away as per own admission of Russians and with United Arab Emirates been also on-board the project ,financial burden on India will also be on lower side for India .