India has decided to walk out of partnership with Russia for developing a fifth generation fighter aircraft. As per Jane’s ‘The Indian Air Force (IAF) has shelved its 11-year old collaborative Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) programme with Russia following enduring differences over its developmental cost and technological capabilities’.
India has already sunk 295 Million USD in the development process of the FGFA. As a derivative Su-57 (PAK FA) the project is already being tested in the Syrian skies, where at least two Su 57s were deployed by the Russian air force along with Su 25s.
India Air Force (IAF), though, is not satisfied with the performance of these prototypes with the IAF’s requirements of stealth, super-cruise, digital network (real-time digital links with other battlefield systems) and airborne radar with world-beating range exceeding what the present configuration offers. In all, the IAF demanded some 50 improvements to the PAK-FA, including 360-degree radar and more powerful engines.
Specially on stealth, IAF is extremely upset about the radar signatures of Su-57.
The problems with PAK FA are not unique to them. Both F22 Raptor and the F 35 lightening II have similar problem leading to very costly refit cycles very early in their operational lives.
What is surprising is that when the Indian Defence minister traveled to Moscow on Apr 4th, just nineteen days ago – closure of agreement on the aircraft seemed high on agenda.