Antony to take up issues related to FGFA project with Russia

AK Antony (Left). Photo: AFP
AK Antony (Left). Photo: AFP

New Delhi, Oct 17 (PTI) Not happy with its share of work in the multi-billion dollar Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) project with Russia, India is expected to flag the issue during Defence Minister A K Antony’s visit to Russia next month.

Though India is investing 50 per cent of the cost of the multi-billion dollar programme, its work share in the research and development and other aspects of the programme at the moment is only around 15 per cent, IAF officials said here.

The Defence Minister is expected to flag this issue during his Russia visit beginning November 15 as this will have an impact on India’s indigenous capabilities to develop such an advanced fighter aircraft, they said.

The IAF expressed its objection over the issue at a CII event on energising aerospace sector in India.

“We have a major opportunity in the FGFA programme. At the moment it is not very much in favour of Indian development. We are flagging it through the Government. It should be much more focused towards indigenous development capability,” IAF Deputy Chief Air Marshal S Sukumar said here.

The senior IAF officer was commenting on the programme and the opportunities that it could provide for the Indian defence sector.

The FGFA is a joint venture programme between India and Russia and its preliminary design phase was completed recently.

The programme is expected to cost over 1.5 lakh crore to the Government. The two sides are now in discussion over the main Research and Development part of the programme, which is expected to take another year to be concluded.


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