The Russian-Indian program to develop and produce fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) is in danger because the Indian Air Force believes that the aircraft does not measure up to required characteristics. It would likely be out-performed by the American F-35 and F-22, reports Hindustan Times, citing its sources in the air force.
According to them, the Indian leadership is not satisfied with the functionalities of the Su-57 but a political decision should be made regarding the continuation of the FGFA program. According to the source, the Indian Air Force doesn’t believe that the expenditures are worth it.
The Su-57 and its prototype T-50 were products of the Russian Air Force’s fifth-generation fighter program or “PAK FA” (Prospective Aviation Complex of Frontline Aviation). An export modification was designated for India’s intended use.
However, the Su-57 allegedly does not meet the Air Force’s requirements. At the same time, there are different views on the FGFA program from within the government. Some officials and experts believe that it should be continued.
The Indian Ministry of Defense already thinks this program is “incredibly expensive.” A high-ranking official of the Indian Ministry of Defense admitted that they are seriously considering what they are getting for their money. The contract for funding of the FGFA research and developments is estimated at 4 billion dollars.
In August 2017, the Internal Commission of the Indian Ministry of Defense made a recommendation to purchase a batch of 108 Т-50/FGFA aircraft by joint production with Russia. Prior to that, there were media reports about India’s readiness to purchase more than 200 fighter aircraft.
In fact, in February last year, the Deputy Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Vladimir Drozhzhov had announced that Russia and India had agreed on the development of the newest fighter aircraft. Russia tested the Su-57’s weapons systems soon afterward when two aircraft were transferred to the Khmeimim Air Base.