India, Russia entered into 2nd stage of talks for fighter aircraft
The Dollar Business Bureau
India and Russia have moved to the second stage of discussions to sign a contract for the joint development of the Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) and both the sides will ink a contract very soon, said a top Russian official.
Russian state corporation Rostec’s CEO Sergei Chemezov said that all the decisions for jointly developing the FGFA will be finished in the ‘nearest future’.
In 2007, India and Russia had signed an inter-governmental agreement for the multi billion dollar FGFA project.
“As for the 5th generation (fighter aircraft) - the work is underway. Stage one is over. Now we are discussing the second stage. And I think that in the nearest future, all decisions will be made and the contract documents will be signed,” Chemezov informed reporters on Tuesday.
“But the work is going on, it is very complicated, so it is not going fast,” he admitted.
Chemezov, the head of Russia’s umbrella organisation of around 700 hi-tech civilian and military companies, stressed that Russia was the only nation which transferred all the technologies to India without any limitations.
The CEO’s remarks come more than two months after the sources from Indian government had said that nearly all the ground work to finalise the deal had been completed for the designing of FGFA jets and some other crucial issues.
“The contract for the detailed design would be signed soon and that will be a major milestone. It should be signed in the second half of the year,” said a top official involved in the project negotiations with Russia.
The two countries are co-developing the project and India will have the same rights over the technology as Russia, the official had said.
In February 2016, both the countries had revived negotiations on the project after the then Defence Minister of India, Manohar Parrikar, gave clearance.
Since then, a number of issues have been sorted by the two sides with regards to work sharing, technology transfer and Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), along with financial commitments.
India agreed to pay $295 million in December 2010 for the initial design of the fighter aircraft, which in India is called as 'Perspective Multi-role Fighter' (PMF).
However, the negotiations faced several hurdles in the following years.