Russian, Indian Defense Chiefs Agree to Speed Up Joint Military Projects

Russia and India have agreed to speed up work on the fifth-generation fighter jet they are developing together, among other joint projects tackled during a Wednesday meeting between the countries' defense ministers.

Russia and India will intensify their military cooperation in numerous issues including the development of the Sukhoi/HAL Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft.


NEW DELHI, January 21 (Sputnik) — Russia and India have agreed to speed up work on the fifth-generation fighter jet they are developing together, among other joint projects tackled during a Wednesday meeting between the countries’ defense ministers.Speaking on the heels of the meeting in New Delhi, Indian defense chief Manohar Parrikar told reporters he had discussed “all the issues including the fifth-generation fighter aircraft” with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu.

“We have decided to fast-track many of the issues,” Parrikar said, adding there was “apprehension” about the slow progress on the construction of the aircraft.

In early January, a Russian-Indian joint venture in charge of the project said Russian and Indian engineers had completed a preliminary design for the Sukhoi/HAL Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA).


Defense Minister Parrikar said the government had invited Russian companies to come over to India for other joint projects, specifically the production of spare parts for Russia-made military equipment on the Indian soil. He added the Indian army had a “substantial” amount of Russian and Soviet military equipment in service, including heavy artillery and armored vehicles.Shoigu is in India for the 14th meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Technical Cooperation, which aims at boosting Russia’s military and counterterrorism cooperation with its South Asian partner.

Russian Fith-Generation t-50 Fighter Jet
Russian Fith-Generation t-50 Fighter Jet


Why India needs to rethink the Rafale deal

October 26, 2014 Rakesh Krishnan Simha

Russian Ambassador in New Delhi Alexander Kadakin claims Chinese Sukhoi Flankers will swat the Rafale like mosquitoes, but what’s more worrying is India is willing to spend $30 billion on a stop-gap aircraft.
Why India needs to rethink the Rafale deal
The most significant aspect of the Rafale deal is the cost.

Fighter planes fall into two categories – the hunters and the hunted. The French are pitching their Rafale as the dogfight duke that is the crème de la crème of jet fighters. But the Russian side disagrees. Alexander Kadakin, Russia’s ambassador in India, says Chinese-made Sukhoi-27s would be able to swat the Rafales like “mosquitoes on an August night.”

At this point it’s pointless to deliver the verdict on which aircraft is superior. The Rafale is a largely unknown commodity in aviation circles. Like most French fighters, it is most likely an unassuming, unspectacular but honest aircraft.

But what Kadakin left unsaid is ominous. First up, he said the hundreds of Su-27 Flankers supplied by Moscow to Beijing are much less advanced than the Flankers in India’s inventory. Now forget the Su-27 for a while and let’s talk about the two squadrons of the latest Su-35 Super Flanker that Russia has cleared for sale to China. This new iteration is a huge advancement over the already potent Su-27. If the aircraft’s stupendous performance at the 2014 Paris Air Show is any indication then the Rafale is likely to fare even worse against the Su-35.

Costing dogfight

To be sure, the most significant aspect of the Rafale deal is the cost. Originally pegged at $10 billion, the size of the deal has climbed to a stratospheric $30 billion. So instead of bolstering the country’s air power, the Rafale is threatening to blow a gaping hole in India’s overstretched defence budget.

India may the third largest economy on the planet but in the backdrop of numerous projects requiring bucket loads of cash, New Delhi can’t afford to splurge on weapons, especially when alternatives are available for far less.

The IAF’s requirement of 126 aircraft can be quickly met – at a fraction of the cost of the Rafale – by inducting more numbers of the technologically superior Su-30s, which the IAF described as its “air dominance fighter,” and which is being produced at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

Each Indian made Su-30 costs approximately $75 million per unit. So if the IAF goes for 126 of them, the total cost will come to under $10 billion, which coincidentally is the originally envisaged amount. Plus, the Sukhois will provide more bang for the buck. “These aircraft will be the high end of India’s air power, and can be expected to remain in the force past 2030, and are competitive with or superior to top-end European fighters and American F-15 variants,” says Defense Industry Daily.

Another option is to buy more of the – even more cheaper – MiG-29, which is the mainstay of India’s interceptor force, and which had shattered the morale of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) during the 1999 Kargil War.

With the $20 billion or so saved, India can import leading edge aviation technology – from France, Russia, Germany or even the US to beef up its military aviation. With manufacturing declining in the US and Europe and thousands of defence sector jobs facing the axe, western engineers would be more than happy to work in India.

There is a precedent in this area. After 1991 when elite Soviet weapons engineers and scientists found their jobs gone, many of them found work at Chinese and South Korean companies – both military and civilian. Russian scientists and engineers ended up transforming the defence sector in both these Asian countries.

India too needs to tread the same path. Hiring unemployed or underemployed European defence sector workers would cut the development time frame of Indian defence projects. In fact, even Pakistan has a tenuous Russian connection. An administrator of Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission from 1967 to 1970 was Polish aeronautical engineer air commodore Wladyslaw Turowicz. Born in Siberia, the Pole made significant contributions to Pakistan’s missile programme as an aeronautical engineer.

That brings up the third option. India’s homemade Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) is being fielded in limited numbers, and further development can easily make it a world class fighter. India can then produce scores of LCAs costing around $40 million – for the IAF. For decades, China has adopted this policy of having hundreds of obsolete aircraft because “quantity has a quality all its own”.

Sending LCAs swarming into Pakistani air space would completely overwhelm that country’s defences. In effect, the Tejas fleet would kick the door in, allowing the Sukhois to pulverise targets with the supersonic BrahMos cruise missiles.

The LCA could even become the military equivalent of India’s $2000 TATA Nano car, for which there was a waiting list in Sri Lanka. Similarly, the LCA could be the ideal export aircraft to small countries with limited budgets. Aircraft such as the Su-30, MiG-29 and F-18 are too expensive and too big for the use of such nations. India could be the first to market a no-frills fighter.

Why Rafale?

When the MMRCA tender was floated over a decade ago, it seemed like a good idea. One, it was aimed at lowering India’s overwhelming dependence on Russia for advanced weapons.

Secondly, India wanted to acquire a medium aircraft that would fill the gap between the low-end LCA and the premium Sukhois.

The third reason was to shore up the IAF’s depleting fighter fleet. The IAF’s sanctioned strength is 39.5 squadrons (an IAF combat squadron consists of 18 aircraft in service with another 3-4 in maintenance) but its current fleet is down to 34 squadrons. The air force says it requires 44 squadrons to meet a full-scale war with Pakistan, while also maintaining “a dissuasive posture” against China.

Earlier this year, the IAF told a Parliamentary standing committee on defence that a “collusive threat” from China and Pakistan would be difficult for it to handle. This was played up by the media, which failed to see the fine print: the IAF admitted (in the same statement) China may not pose “a collusive threat” if hostilities were to break out between India and Pakistan.

Indeed, why would the Chinese team up with a rapidly balkanizing Pakistan and attack a fellow BRICS member? It is not only counterintuitive but also a ridiculous idea.

As for the threat from Pakistan, it is really a joke. The arrival of the MiG-29 and the Sukhoi-30 in the 1990s has given the IAF a fearsome qualitative advantage over the PAF. This edge was demonstrated during the 1999 Kargil War. While a number of IAF aircraft took part in that campaign, it was the cover provided by the MiG-29 that spooked – and demoralised – the PAF pilots.

Says Strategy Page in a report dated May 20, 2005: “While PAF fighters did fly Combat Air Patrols (CAP) during the conflict, they stayed well within Pakistani air space. On occasions, IAF MiG-29s armed with the deadly R-77 BVR air-to-air missiles were able to lock on to PAF F-16s, forcing the latter to disengage.”

So scared were the Pakistani pilots of the Indian MiGs that the “PAF simply refused to play any part” in the war.

In the report “Airpower at 18,000 feet: IAF in the Kargil War” published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 2012, Benjamin Lambeth says the Pakistani F-16s “typically maintained a safe distance of 10 to 20 miles on the Pakistani side of the LoC”.

Qualitatively, the IAF is on an upward curve. In fact, in an interview to the media in 2012, former air force chief N.A.K. Browne gave the lie to the claim that the IAF was becoming weaker. According to Browne, the IAF is replacing older MiG-21s with Su-30s. He said once older aircraft are replaced with brand new Sukhois the IAF will have “far greater capability than even what we have today”.

If India and France sort out the numerous issues dogging the MMRCA deal and a contract is signed this year, then the first 18 Rafales will arrive from France in 2016. If all goes smoothly, the rest of the 102 aircraft could start rolling off HAL’s assembly lines by 2018.

But here’s the rub: around 2020 Sukhoi’s stealth fighter, the PAK-FA, in which India is a junior partner, will be ready to join the IAF. Why India is committing itself to a stopgap aircraft is mysterious.

UAC to Sell Sukhoi Su-35 Fighter to China

UAC to Sell Sukhoi Su-35 Fighter to China

Russian Military Technologies, 20.02.2014

United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) feels there is scope to sell the Sukhoi Su-35 fighter to China, despite lingering concerns about Beijing’s view toward intellectual property.

“We have a good opportunity to work with China on [the Su-35] despite the success Chinese industry demonstrated [replicating earlier Russian fighters],” says Mikhael Pogosyan, chief executive of Sukhoi parent company UAC.

Speaking to journalists at last week’s Singapore air show, Pogosyan was replying to a journalist’s question about whether he was concerned about intellectual property issues related to a possible acquisition of the advanced type by Beijing.

“We will find a place on the Chinese market and find an opportunity that is in balance with China’s development,” says Pogosyan.

Media reports quoting anonymous officials at Russian state arms export company Rosoboronexport indicate Beijing could sign a deal for 20 Su-35s in 2014.

Russia fulfills obligations under 5th gentn fighter aircraft programme with India

Russia fulfills obligations under 5th gentn fighter aircraft programme with India

NEW DELHI, February 07, 2:36 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia fulfills all of its obligations under the fifth generation fighter aircraft programme with India, Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin said at the Defexpo-2014 security systems exhibition on Thursday, February 6.

“We pay no attention to negative publications that appear from time to time and claim that Russia does not fulfill its obligations under the fifth generation fighter aircraft programme. Russian-Indian military-technical cooperation under this programme develops as scheduled, and we have not received any official complaints from the Indian side”, he said.

Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, Deputy Director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, told ITAR-TASS at the exhibition that all such publications had been written to order.

Commenting on one such article in the Indian newspaper Business Standard, Dzirkaln said it was not true. “There is some speculation regarding the development of the Russian-Indian fifth generation fighter aircraft programme, but it’s not surprising because the Indian Air Force, as the customer, would like to get the ‘hardware’, while budget funding has been disbursed for research and development,” he said.

“We have no official complaints from India with regard to the fifth generation fighter aircraft. All negotiations take place under the agreements reached earlier,” Dzirkaln said.

The newspaper said the Indian Air Force (IAF) had “alleged the Russians would be unable to meet their promises about its performance.” On December 24, 2013, in a meeting in New Delhi chaired by Gokul Chandra Pati, the secretary of defence production, top IAF officials argued the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) had “shortfalls… in terms of performance and other technical features.”

Business Standard reviewed the minutes of that meeting. The IAF’s three top objections to the FGFA were: (a) The Russians are reluctant to share critical design information with India; (b) The fighter’s current AL-41F1 engines are inadequate, being mere upgrades of the Sukhoi-30MKI’s AL-31 engines; and (c) It is too expensive. With India paying 6 billion U.S. dollars to co-develop the FGFA, “a large percentage of IAF’s capital budget will be locked up.”

Top Defence Ministry sources suspect the IAF is undermining the FGFA to free up finances for buying 126 Rafale medium multi-role combat aircraft, the newspaper said.

Fifth-generation fighters are qualitatively superior to current “Generation 4.5” fighters like the Sukhoi-30MKI. They are designed for stealth, which makes these near-invisible to radar; they “supercruise”, that is, fly at supersonic speed without lighting engine afterburners (which some current fighters like the Rafale also do); and they have futuristic avionics and missiles, Business Standard said.

“The Defence Ministry and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) have countered the IAF’s objections to the FGFA. Russian officials have clarified that the current prototype’s engine, the AL-41F1, is a temporary solution to let the flight-test programme continue. A new engine being developed in Russia will eventually power both the FGFA and PAK-FA,” the newspaper said.

It stressed that “Russia has gone ahead with developing a fifth-generation fighter. The Sukhoi Design Bureau has designed and done 300 test-flights of the T-50, the stealth fighter Sukhoi and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) plan to refine into the FGFA in about eight years. The Russian Air Force, which has less ambitious specifications than the IAF, plans to induct into service its own version of the T-50, the PAK-FA (Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation) by 2017-2018.”

Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) estimates the Russian-Indian market for fifth generation fighter aircraft at 200 planes and the global market at 400 planes.

The initial version of the fifth generation fighter aircraft being created jointly by India and Russia will be ready for flight testing in 2014, the Times of India said earlier, quoting the Chief of the Air Staff and Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne as saying.

“The two sides are close to signing a key contract expected to be worth over 11 billion U.S. dollars for research and development phase of the project in the near future,” the newspaper said.

“The first prototype of the FGFA is scheduled to arrive in India by 2014 after which it will undergo extensive trials at the Ojhar air base (Maharashtra)…we are hopeful that the aircraft would be ready for induction by 2022,” Browne told PTI.

The IAF Chief was in Russia in August 2012 to review the progress made in the programme and the prototypes of the aircraft developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau at Zhukovsky there, the newspaper said.

Browne reviewed the performance of the fifth generation fighter aircraft, called Sukhoi T-50.

“Russia has already given the draft R&D contract to us. It will include the cost of designing, infrastructure build-up at Ozar, prototype development and flight testing. So, India will have scientists and test pilots based both in Russia and Ozar during the R&D phase up to 2019. HAL will subsequently begin manufacturing the fighters,” the newspaper’s source said.

Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Director Alexander Fomin said that India and Russia would need at least 6-10 years to build a fifth generation fighter aircraft.

“It takes some time to create a plane. The manufacture of such a sophisticated piece of equipment is a science-consuming process that requires big investments. At least six to ten years will pass before we build a sample of the fifth generation fighter plane and being its serial production,” Fomin said.

In the future, Russia and India plan to sell these planes not only on the national markets, but also in third countries. “We will export it in cooperation with Indian partners,” the official added.

India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation will work on the new fighter plane.

According to Indian media reports, the two parties will invest 8-10 billion U.S. dollars in the project. Experts believe that the new plane will exceed Western analogues by the cost-efficiency criterion and will not only enhance the defence capabilities of the Russian and Indian navies, but will also take a worthy place on the world market.

World experience shows that it takes about 3-4 years to test new planes before their mass production can begin. Russia’s new plane may as well fit into this schedule, especially since its maiden flight proved its reliability in different regimes.

Fifth generation planes are currently used only by the United States: F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning. However the Russian plane, tentatively called T-50, surpasses the American Raptor.

Russia to Sell $5Bln Worth Helicopters to Mideast, Africa

Russia to Sell $5Bln  Worth Helicopters to Mideast, Africa

DUBAI, November 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s state arms exporter said Friday that it currently has $5 billion worth of outstanding orders for helicopters with countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

The exporter’s overall contract portfolio exceeded $38 billion as of November 1.

A Rosoboronexport representative made the remarks after the close of the bi-annual Dubai Airshow, which has been held with support from the United Arab Emirates since 1989 and is one of the region’s biggest airspace expositions.

This year, 23 Russian organizations – including Rosoboronexport, major aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi and state corporation Rostec – took part in the exhibition, which ran for five days and ended Thursday.

The Russian delegation met for talks with representatives from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, India, Jordan and Algeria.

At the air show “Dubai Airshow 2013” 23 Russian organizations will be represented- FSMTC

TSAMTO November 13.
In the air show “Dubai Airshow 2013″ ( from 17 to 21of November } 23 Russian organizations will take part, including 6 subjects of military – technical cooperation : GC Rostec , JSC ” Rosoboronexport “, JSC ” OPK” Oboronprom ” , OJSC” Company ” Sukhoi”, JSC “RSC “MiG ” and FSUE “SPC Gas Turbine ” Salute ” .

As the press service of the FSMTC informs, the military products will be represented by 8 Russian companies: JSC “Rosoboronexport” , OJSC “Company” Sukhoi ” JSC ” RSC “MiG “, JSC “Corporation” Irkut ” , ” Rostvertol “, JSC” Ufa Engine Production Association “, JSC” Ulan- Ude Aviation plant “and OAO ” Kaluga Research Institute of Radio Engineering . ”

For the purpose of the official representative of the Russian Federation at the International Exhibition “Dubai Airshow 2013” it formed the Russian delegation led by Deputy Director FSMTC Russia Vyacheslav Dzirkaln .

New Sukhoi T-50 Fighter Jet Prototype Joins Testing Program

New Sukhoi T-50 Fighter Jet Prototype  Joins Testing Program

MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) – A fifth flying prototype of Russia’s future T-50 fighter jet has flown for the first time at a manufacturing plant in Russia’s Far East, the Sukhoi aircraft maker said.

The 50-minute flight at the Gagarin factory in Komsomolsk-on-Amur has successfully tested the aircraft’s overall performance, including its stability in the air and the work of its engines.

“The aircraft performed well in all phases of the planned flight program. The pilot confirmed reliability of all systems and equipment,” Sukhoi said in a statement.

The T-50, which will be the core of Russia’s future fighter fleet, is a fifth-generation multirole fighter aircraft featuring stealth and nano-technology, super-maneuverability, supercruise capability (supersonic flight without use of afterburner), and an advanced avionics suite including an X-band active phased-array radar, according to Sukhoi.

The preliminary testing program conducted by Sukhoi has so far involved six prototype airframes, including four flying, one static and one systems test airframe. More than 450 flights have been carried out to date under the program.

The four flying prototypes have already been transferred to the Zhukovsky airfield near Moscow prior to state flight tests, which are scheduled to begin in 2014. The aircraft is expected to enter service with the Russian Air Force in 2016.

© RIA Novosti.

Russian Fith-Generation t-50 Fighter Jet

The T-50, also known as PAK-FA (future tactical fighter aircraft), first flew in January 2010 and was unveiled to the public at the MAKS air show near Moscow in 2011.