Indian Military Suggests Continuation of 5th-Generation Jet Project With Russia
The special four-member panel established by the Indian Defense Ministry to examine various aspects of the joint Russia-India fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) project strongly recommended the Indian government to continue cooperating with Russia in this direction, the local media reported Friday, citing Indian Air Force sources.
NEW DELHI (Sputnik) – According to the sources, cited by Hindustan Times media outlet, the committee, headed by retired Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman, has examined all aspects of the project for five months. The committee has also reportedly submitted a report to the government, strongly recommending the continuation the FGFA project's implementation. Moreover, India would significantly benefit from the project, according to the media outlet.
Varthaman has refused to comment on the report.
"We were given a task and we have submitted our report to the government. That's all I can tell you," Varthaman said, as quoted by the Hindustan Times.
Sputnik has reached out to the Indian Defense Ministry for comment on the matter.
In March, local media reported that the project was under question because of alleged contradictions between Russia and India on the issue of technology transfer. The Russian authorities have refuted the allegations, saying that there was no dispute on the issue, and that the bilateral agreement on the separation of research and development works on the FGFA was in its final stage.
The FGFA project is a part of the "Make in India" initiative launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014. Within the project, the Russian side is represented by the Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer and the Indian side by the Hindustan Aeronautics. Under the agreement on research and development works, which will be conducted for six years, Russia and India will reportedly invest $4 billion each at the developmental stage, while the total cost of constructing 127 fighter jets is estimated to amount to $25 billion.
In late July, Sergei Chemezov, the general director of Russia's Rostec state corporation, said that the contract on creation of a Russia-India fifth-generation FGFA fighter will be signed shortly.
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