SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
Indian Ambassador to Russia Pankaj Saran, In an interview with Russian media TASS, has confirmed that negotiations with Russia are still going on to build a fifth-generation FGFA (Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft) fighter but refused to confirm or deny Indian media reports, which had reported that India withdrew from the joint project on recommendation of the Indian Air Force .
Saran said nothing is off the table in regards to FGFA Project but didn’t indulge in further information nor confirmed if a deal with Russia will be concluded anytime soon. while speaking on the negotiation for the purchase of the S-400 SAM systems by India said there is no set time frame to conclude the deal but as per latest media reports Indian Government has given the go-ahead to procure Long Range Air Defence Systems for Indian Air Force which likely will attract Sanctions from the United States.
National security adviser Ajit Doval along with Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale visited Moscow in April this year and meet Russian NSA and Foreign minister where Doval confirmed to his Russian counterpart that India will reconsider Purchase of FGFA from Russia at an appropriate time in near future.
According to Indian media reports, Indian High ranking Government officials have assured Russian officials that India will reconsider the purchase of FGFA when Project becomes much more viable and meets requirement Standards set by Indian Air Force.
As per Industrial experts, India is now more open to direct purchase of the jets in small quantity in near future and is not keen on pursuing the Joint developmental model subjected that it first meets stringent requirements set by Indian Air Force.
Indian Air Force way back in 2014 had submitted a report asking Government of India not to pursue the Joint development of FGFA due to technical deficiencies in the jet which Russian side had failed to address, Blooming developmental and procurement cost was also another major reason why IAF backed out of the project.
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