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Former IAF Marshal Anil Chopra’s suggestion of revisiting the Sukhoi/HAL Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) has sparked debate. However, sources close to idrw report no reconsideration of the FGFA program for procurement.

Experts maintain India’s decision to exit the FGFA, based on the Russian Su-57, was justified due to technical shortcomings. The FGFA reportedly failed to meet several key requirements, leading to deficiencies unexpected in a 5th generation fighter.

The program’s high cost was another major factor. Developing a two-seater FGFA variant could have doubled the price per unit compared to the Su-30MKI (~$70 million). Additionally, customizing the FGFA was estimated to require $5 billion significantly exceeding the $2 billion allocated for the recently approved AMCA program.

India did incur sunk costs during the FGFA’s initial stages. However, experts believe this pales in comparison to the potential financial burden of a program not meeting expectations.

The focus now firmly rests on India’s indigenous 5th generation fighter program, the AMCA. With a development budget of $2 billion, the AMCA represents a more cost-effective and strategically independent path for the IAF’s future.

While Marshal Chopra’s suggestion offers a different perspective, the industry sources’ insights suggest the IAF has moved on from the FGFA. The focus now appears to be on the development of the AMCA, a potentially more cost-effective and domestically produced solution.

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