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In a bid to bolster its presence in the global aviation market, Russia’s Rosoboronexport is proposing a trilateral co-production plan for its fifth-generation Su-57E fighter jets with India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This strategic move comes at a time when both India and the UAE are considering their options for acquiring next-generation fighter aircraft.

The UAE, which has suspended talks with the US regarding a $23 billion deal for the purchase of 50 F-35 fighter jets, is seeking alternatives to meet its defence requirements. The Su-57E, with its advanced stealth capabilities and impressive performance, has emerged as a potential contender for the UAE’s fighter jet program.

India, on the other hand, is pursuing the development of its indigenous fifth-generation fighter jet under the AMCA program. However, the AMCA program is still in its early stages, with prototype testing expected to begin in 5-7 years and induction into service another 5-7 years after that.

Russia’s proposal for trilateral co-production of the Su-57E presents an attractive option for both India and the UAE. The co-production model would allow both countries to share the costs and benefits of manufacturing the Su-57E, while also gaining access to advanced technology and expertise.

Under the proposed co-production plan, Su-57E fighter jets would be partially manufactured in the UAE, Russia, and India, with each partner country receiving a specific work share agreement. This arrangement would not only boost the economies of the participating countries but also open up opportunities for exporting the Su-57E to other interested nations.

While the UAE has yet to officially respond to Russia’s proposal, the prospect of co-producing the Su-57E could prove to be an enticing one, given the aircraft’s capabilities and the potential for industrial collaboration. India, which had previously walked out of the FGFA program, a joint venture with Russia to develop a twin-seater variant of the Su-57, may also reconsider its stance in light of the co-production proposal.

Russia’s proposal for trilateral co-production of the Su-57E signifies a significant shift in its approach to international defence partnerships. By offering a co-production model, Russia is seeking to expand its global reach and establish itself as a leading provider of advanced military technology.

The success of this proposed co-production venture will depend on the level of commitment and cooperation among the participating countries. If the parties can successfully navigate the complexities of a trilateral partnership, the co-production of the Su-57E could not only fulfil the respective defence needs of India and the UAE but also set a new precedent for international defence collaborations.

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