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Russia, India to sign 5th-generation fighter deal in March

RIA Novosti


NEW DELHI, February 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and India will sign the first contract on the manufacturing of a fifth-generation jet fighter in late February-early March, a Russian defense industry official said Monday.

"We expect a contract on the first stage of design, specifically the development of a technical design concept, to be signed in late February-early March," Alexander Fomin, first deputy head of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, said.

He added that Russia and India were currently "at an active phase of negotiations" on manufacturing fifth-generation fighters.

It was not entirely clear whether Fomin was referring to Russia's prototype fifth-generation fighter, which has already made two test flights, or a new project. Nor did he indicate exactly what role India would play.

Russia has been developing its newest fighter since the 1990s. The current prototype, known as the T-50, was designed by the Sukhoi design bureau and built at a plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, in Russia's Far East.

It will be delivered to the Russian Air Force from 2015 onwards.

Russian officials have already hailed the fighter as "a unique warplane" that combines the capabilities of an air superiority fighter and attack aircraft.

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