A In late March Russia finally admitted that they were having serious problems with their new “5th generation” T-50 (or PAK-FA) stealth fighter. The admission came in the form of a decision to cut the number of production T-50s to be built by the end of the decade from 52 to 12. Russia already has five development models of the T-50 flying, although one was damaged in a fire. The Russian announcement did not cover specific reasons for the change. But Indian Air Force officials have been criticizing the progress of the T-50 program for over a year.
United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) is stating deliveries of a pilot batch of T-50 (PAK FA) fifth-generation fighters to Russian Ministry of Defense, president of UAC, Yuri Slusar, told RIA Novosti.
Joint projects with India such as the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) and a multirole transport aircraft (MTA) are priority projects for Russia, president of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) Mikhail Pogosyan said on Tuesday.
“The projects of a fifth generation fighter jet and a military transport plane reflect our strategy on creating present-day high-tech products in cooperation with our partners,” Pogosyan said.
The Russian Knights aerobatic team has qualified to perform on Tuesday at Airshow China 2014, Russian Air Force representative, colonel Igor Klimov said.
“The Knights carried out a qualifying flight in Zhuhai and examined the region of upcoming flights. The training took 30 minutes; they flew in groups of five, four, and in a pair and also rehearsed individual aerobatics under both normal and adverse weather conditions. The qualifications commission consists exclusively of Chinese specialists who admit pilots to performance”, he conveyed.
In what could be a sign of fatigue in a long-lasting military relationship, India has conveyed to Russia that it cannot carry on with the proposed project to jointly develop and manufacture the next generation of fighter jets till Moscow addresses concerns about technology sharing and costing.
The spate of negative articles in the Indian media about the defence cooperation with Russia, especially concerning the FGFA project, indicates behind-the-scenes hectic attempts by Rafale lobbyists.
There is a buzz in the air about New Delhi’s intentions of shooting down the 2007 agreement with Moscow for the joint development of fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) or at least put it on the hold to generate the funds for financing the Rafale deal with France.
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