India has moved closer to helping develop a fifth-generation fighter with the signing of an agreement with Russia to produce the aircraft jointly.

The deal calls for the fighter to be produced by the end of the decade. The "super fighter" - described by the partners as the most ambitious and sophisticated defence project ever undertaken by the two countries - will replace fourth-generation fighters such as the Sukhoi Su-30 and the RSK MiG-29.

Early next year a production tender will be released to Russian manufacturers including Sukhoi and MiG.

India also plans to lease from Russia four Tupolev Tu-22M3 bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

Source: Flight International