Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Russia, India Link Up On Aircraft Production

By Neelam Mathews(AW&ST)

India and Russia have registered a joint venture called Medium Transport Aircraft Ltd. that will develop and manufacture products with India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), according to United Aircraft Corp. President Alexei Fyodorov.
“It will be in the market in six to seven years,” Fyodorov tells Aviation Week. “We are also considering working on unmanned aerial vehicles with India. But it is still in the early stages.”
More than 25 agreements were signed between Russian and Indian companies here in the areas of life sciences, energy, navigation and information technology during the three-day visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
India and Russia also will conclude a preliminary design contract for their joint fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) project (Aerospace DAILY, Dec. 17). The FGFA is based on the Russian Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA, which flew for the first time last January at the  Komsomolsk-on-Amur facility in Siberia. The second prototype will fly in early 2011, Fyodorov says. The third prototype will have more advanced systems.
“Once the approvals are through, we will start the actual detailed work,” HAL Chairman Ashok Nayak tells Aviation Week.
The 30-ton aircraft is priced at around $100 million each. “It would be a swing-role fighter with highly advanced avionics, giving 360-deg. situational awareness, stealth to increase survivability and smart weapons,” says P.K. Naik, Indian air force chief. The aircraft is expected to join the Indian service between 2017 and 2020.
Ahead of his visit, Medvedev had said high technology was “at the top of our agenda”, adding that an integrated program of cooperation in the areas of science, technology and innovation till 2020 would be signed. Agreements on joint production of nuclear reactors also are expected.
Outer space exploration also has been identified as a long-term area of cooperation. A bilateral agreement for use of Russia’s Glonass satellites is under negotiation.
T-50 photo: Sukoi

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