Aviation News

October 7, 2010

India Places Huge Order for Russian Stealth Fighter Jets

Sukhoi T-50 prototype first flight
First flight of the Sukhoi PAK/FA T-50 prototype in January 2010.
First flight of the Sukhoi PAK/FA T-50 prototype in January 2010

First flight of the Sukhoi PAK/FA T-50 prototype in January 2010. (Photo courtesy of Sukhoi)

India’s Defense Ministry on Thursday announced that it has agreed to buy 250 to 300 stealth fighter jets from Russia for approximately 30 billion dollars.

Defense Minister Arackaparambil Kurian Antony along with his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov at made the announcement regarding the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) and 45 transport planes as well.

“For the next 10 years, multi-transport aircraft and fifth generation fighter aircraft will be the shining examples of India-Russia defense cooperation,” said Antony. “These two major projects are going to be our flagship programs.”

The new Sukhoi/HAL FGFA aircraft is a derivative of Sukhoi’s PAK/FA jet, which currently has one prototype undergoing flight testing. The Indian version is being jointly developed by Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau and India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

On Wednesday, Serdyukov, accompanied by a Russian delegation, arrived at India for he 10th annual meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is scheduled to travel to India in December, which is also the expected month in which the agreement will be signed.

Sukhoi PAK/FA prototype

(Photo courtesy of Sukhoi)

India currently uses fighter jets such as the Sukhoi Su-30, Mirage-2000 and Jaguar.

The FGFA prototype was flown for the first time early in the year as it is still being developed in Russia. The U.S. is the only country to currently have an FGFA in service.

With reporting by Matt Molnar