United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) has dismissed media reports that New Delhi is unhappy with the level of technology transfer related to the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) programme.
“I believe that the level of transparency and technology transfer Sukhoi and Russian industry have demonstrated…shows a brand new level of transfer and is especially better than that of other companies,” says UAC chief executive Mikhail Pogosyan.
Pogosyan made the comments during a media roundtable at the Singapore air show. Recent unsourced media reports have indicated that India’s air force was concerned about Sukhoi’s willingness to share key information about the aircraft, which will be a variant of the T-50 PAK FA fighter.
“I don’t think there are any misunderstandings related to FGFA, and soon we will have a decision that will be elaborated,” he says. “The issue of technological transfer is complicated, which demands not only for the giving of technologies, but their acceptance by another party.”
In Pogosyan’s view, Sukhoi parent UAC, Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), and the Indian air force are all in accord with each other about the programme.
India has plans to obtain 214 FGFAs by 2030, with the total programme costing the Indian government over $30 billion.
As for the Russian air force, Pogosyan says Sukhoi and the Russian air force will commence testing of the new type this year, and that deliveries of serial production T-50s will begin in 2016.
Some industry observers have questioned the degree of technology transfer that has occurred with HAL’s licence production of Russian types such as the Su-27. They feel that Russia, and previously the Soviet Union, was less than forthcoming with key technologies in crucial areas such as engines and advanced avionics.
Despite years of licenced production of Russian types, New Delhi has struggled to develop indigenous military aircraft, namely the long delayed HAL Tejas Light Combat Aircraft. Despite the type’s long development, many question its true value in combat, and it is powered by the General Electric F404, not the indigenously developed – and trouble prone - Kaveri engine.