India, Russia to ink deal on 5th-gen fighter design
After years of delay, India and Russia are likely to soon ink a "milestone" pact to finalise the detailed design for the fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) and move ahead with the multi-billion dollar co- development project.
Government sources said almost all the ground work has been completed to finalise the deal for design of the jet as well as some other critical 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," a top official involved in the negotiations with Russia on the project said.
Asked whether India has linked the project to full-scale transfer of technology, the official, who requested anonymity, said both the countries are co-developers and India will have equal rights over the the technology.
"We are co-developers. There is nothing called technology transfer in this project. India has equal rights. We will have the wherewithal to continue production. We are equal partner in the project," he said.
In the negotiations for the project, India had insisted that it must get all the required codes and access to critical technology so that it can upgrade the aircraft as per its requirements. In February last year, India and Russia had revived talks on the project after a clearance from then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.