Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

India to Cut Stealth Fighter Order by Third
Ria Novosti, Russia ^ | 16/10/2012

Posted on 10/17/2012 5:18:00 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

India to Cut Stealth Fighter Order by Third

India is cutting its order for a fifth-generation stealth fighter being developed jointly with Russia by a third, India's Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne told India Strategic.

India's Hindustan Aeronatics Limited (HAL) is to build the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), a derivative of the Sukhoi T-50, in India. The two nations signed a 50/50 joint venture to build the aircraft in December 2011.

Russia is currently testing a handful of prototypes of the T-50 aircraft, which is due to enter service with the Russian Air Force after 2017.

India will now order just 144 of the fighters, all single-seat models, Browne said, down from an originally-intended batch of around 200, including 48 two-seaters.

The original figure, of 200 aircraft, would have been possible if the aircraft was ready by 2017, with the first batch coming from Russian production lines. But India now wants to take on a greater share of development, pushing back the production date for the Indian variant, which is likely to be 2020 at the earliest.

India wants to produce some of the aircraft's computers, software, guidance systems and other systems, as it did for a similar project with Russia producing a locally-made variant of the Sukhoi Su-30MKI strike aircraft. Russia will provide the aircraft's Saturn 117S engines and some stealth technology elements for the plane.

A total cost for the program has yet to be worked out, but could total around $30 billion including development costs, HAL sources told India Strategic.

The two countries are in talks on the first research and development phase. After this agreement is signed, a first prototype will likely be delivered to India in 2014, followed by two more in 2017 and 2019. Series production aircraft “will only be ordered based on the final configuration and performance of the third prototype,” Browne said.

“The downward shift in number may be indicative of the projected cost of the platform, although given that the aircraft is still likely a decade away from Indian service then the planned off-take number could well change," says Douglas Barrie, air warfare analyst at the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies.

"Also of note is the suggestion that the aircraft will all be single-seaters. The air force has in the past, including with the MMRCA program [to buy light fighters], tended to prefer a mix of single and two-seat aircraft,” he added.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: aerospace; russia; stealth; t50

1 posted on 10/17/2012 5:18:06 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

Is this due to the economy, the costs of other programs like the Rafale, or the belief that the ChiCom J-20 is a paper tiger?


2 posted on 10/17/2012 11:09:09 AM PDT by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

That would have to be one extremely light aircraft to get 5500nm range compared to the US 3400nm, not to mention rather surprising fuel efficient engines.


3 posted on 10/17/2012 11:35:43 AM PDT by CodeToad (Padme: "So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CodeToad
That would have to be one extremely light aircraft to get 5500nm range compared to the US 3400nm, not to mention rather surprising fuel efficient engines.
"km" or Kilometers, not nautical miles. 5500KM is roughly 3000 nautical miles.
4 posted on 10/17/2012 1:48:17 PM PDT by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: rmlew

Still, 5500km to 3400km.


5 posted on 10/17/2012 2:20:13 PM PDT by CodeToad (Padme: "So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: CodeToad

Supercruise capability is the main reason for a long range. Also 5500 km is an estimated range with engines still under development. With existing test engines (from legacy Flanker) it is on par or worse than Raptor.


6 posted on 10/18/2012 8:35:28 PM PDT by cunning_fish
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson