SOURCE: Anand SG / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
After receiving Green light from Indian Air Force, Government of India and Russia are working on final contract for jointly developing the much-delayed fifth-generation fighter aircraft Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) based on T-50 Air-frame.
According to the Draft Contract, Russia will be handing over India nearly Three T-50 Prototypes in next three years which will be used to as Test-bed before FGFA aircraft based on Indian customisation will be developed.
This Prototype will also be used by Indian Air Force for flight evaluation of the aircraft and to also test strength and weakness of the aircraft by Special Test Pilot team which will be created to support this Project in India. Indian Team until now were only given aircraft demonstration in Russia and were very keen to evaluate them but now the majority of the evaluation will be carried out in India.
India already has dropped plans to develop a two-seater FGFA to keep the development cost down and has made plans to invest $6 Billion ,which will be divided by India and Russia to develop nearly 43 improvements over the T-50 in major areas to improve stealth, supercruise, advanced sensors, networking and combat avionics over current T-50 aircraft developed for Russian air force .
T-50’s radar cross section (RCS) stands at 0.1-0.5m which is significantly higher than the F-22 ( 0.0001 ) and the F-35 (0.0015) according to latest reports and India and Russia will work together to further improve radar cross section. Russians to keep the price low and to meet Russian air force requirements have done some compromise in the stealth element but FGFA will have a higher degree of stealth.
India already has rejected AL-41 engines and instead has opted for Izdeliye 30 which has been developed from scratch and features improved thrust characteristics, better fuel efficiency, fewer moving parts, and subsequently improved reliability and lower maintenance costs. Russians initially will be using AL-41 engines equipped but will later move to Izdeliye 30 Engines but Indian varaint will have some performance improvement.
Avionics of FGFA will be based on Indo-European origin and will see repetition of the successful Sukhoi-30MKI experiment which has worked fine for India till now. N036 Belka advanced active electronically scanned array radar system in FGFA will receive some tweaks with an addition of Indian and European weapons and sensor systems and will be more open to get future Indian weapons as Plug and Play mode.