Moscow, Aug 18
The export version of Russia’s T-50 fifth-generation fighter aircraft, jointly developed with India and also called the PAK-FA, is likely to compete in a South Korean tender for 60 combat planes with advanced Stealth capability.
The version is expected to be ready to fly in 2016.
India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will be a major beneficiary if the T-50 wins the South Korean tender, as many of the aircraft’s electronics systems will be developed in India under the work share agreement between India and Russia.
The two countries are sharing the multibillion dollar development cost of the project.
A Ria Novosti report quoting an unnamed official of the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade said that the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) had expressed an interest in having the T-50 compete along with Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightening II joint strike fighter, Boeing’s F-15 Silent Eagle and the European consortium EADS’ Eurofighter Typhoon.
A report from Seoul said that the DAPA is likely to issue request for proposals late next year for the acquisition that is likely to happen by 2016-17.
The PAK-FA is expected to be ready for delivery in 2016-17 for both the Russian and India Air Forces.
The PAK-FA is scheduled to make its first pubic appearance at the Moscow International Air Show (MAKS 2011) currently on in the Russian capital. Two prototypes of the aircraft have been making test flights since 2010.
India plans to induct the fifth generation fighter aircraft by 2017. Defence Minister A. K. Antony had said during the AeroIndia 2011 show, “The difficulties in this programme are over. We have signed a deal with the Russians, and we will see the fifth generation fighter aircraft is inducted by 2017.”
Mikhail Pogosyan, chief executive of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) said during a brief media interaction here that the Indo-Russian fifth generation combat jet project was on track.