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Fifth Generation Fighter
Aircraft (FGFA)
Perspective Multirole
Fighter (PMF)

A Russian T-50, on which the FGFA is based.

Multirole/Stealth air
superiority fighter
National origin
Hindustan Aeronautics
Aeronautics Limited
Status In development[1]
Primary user Indian Air Force
US$30 billion
Program cost
Unit cost US$100 million (est.)[3][4]
Developed from Sukhoi PAK FA

The Sukhoi/HAL Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) or Perspective Multi-role

Fighter (PMF) is a fifth-generation fighter being developed by India and Russia. It is a
derivative project from the PAK FA (T-50 is the prototype) being developed for the Russian Air
Force. FGFA was the earlier designation for the Indian version, while the combined project is
now called the Perspective Multi-Role Fighter (PMF).[5]
The completed FGFA will include a total of 43 improvements over the T-50, including stealth,
supercruise, advanced sensors, networking and combat avionics.[6][7] Two separate prototypes
will be developed, one by Russia and a separate one by India. Russia agreed to the demand of the
Indian Air force that it must be a two-seater fighter. The Indian version will be a two-seater for
pilot and co-pilot/Weapon Systems Operator (WSO).

 1 Development
o 1.1 Project changes and delays
 2 Design
o 2.1 Differences for FGFA
 3 Specifications (PAK FA and FGFA - projected)
 4 See also
 5 References
 6 External links

Following the success of the BrahMos project, Russia and India agreed in early 2007 to jointly
study and develop a Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) programme.[8][9] On 27 October
2007 Sukhoi's director Mikhail Pogosyan stated: "We will share the funding, engineering and
intellectual property in a 50–50 proportion", in an interview with Asia Times.[10]

On 11 September 2010, it was reported that India and Russia had agreed on a preliminary design
contract, subject to Cabinet approval. The joint development deal would have each country
invest $6 billion and take 8–10 years to develop the FGFA fighter.[11] In December 2010, a
memorandum of understanding for preliminary design of the Indo-Russian fighter was reportedly
signed between Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), and Russian companies Rosoboronexport
and Sukhoi.[12][13] The preliminary design will cost $295 million and will be complete within 18
months.[14] On 17 August 2011, media reports stated that the new fighter will cost Russia and
India $6 billion to develop, and India will pay about 35% of the cost.[15][16]

The Indian version, according to the deal, will be different from the Russian version and specific
to Indian requirements.[17] While the Russian version will be a single-pilot fighter, the Indian
variant will be based on its own operational doctrine which calls for greater radius of combat
operations. The wings and control surfaces need to be reworked for the FGFA.[18] Although,
development work has yet to begin, the Russian side has expressed optimism that a test article
will be ready for its maiden flight by 2009, one year after PAK FA scheduled maiden flight and
induction into service by 2015.[19] By February 2009, as per Sukhoi General Director Mikhail
Pogosyan, India will initially get the same PAK FA fighter of Russia and the only difference will
be the software.[20]

In 2010, a total of 500 aircraft were planned with options for further aircraft. Russian Air Force
will have 200 single-seat and 50 twin-seat PAK FAs while Indian Air Force will get 166 single
seated and 48 twin-seated FGFAs.[21][22] At this stage, the Sukhoi holding is expected to carry out
80% of the work involved. Under the project terms, single-seat fighters will be assembled in
Russia, while Hindustan Aeronautics will assemble two-seaters.[23] HAL negotiated a 25 per cent
share of design and development work in the FGFA programme. HAL's work share will include
critical software including the mission computer, navigation systems, most of the cockpit
displays, the counter measure dispensing (CMD) systems and modifying Sukhoi's prototype into
fighter as per the requirement of the Indian Air Force (IAF).[24]

Sukhoi director Mikhail Pogosyan projected a market for 1,000 aircraft over the next four
decades, 200 each for Russia and India and 600 for other countries in 2010.[25] Russian Trade
Minister Viktor Khristenko said that the aircraft are to be jointly developed and produced with
India and both countries will "share benefits from selling the plane not only on their domestic
markets, but also on the markets of third countries."[26] The Editor-in-chief of Natsionalnaya
Oborona, Dr Igor Korotchenko, said in February 2013 that exports of the jointly designed fighter
should help Russia increase its share of arms exports to the world.[27]

In 2011, it was reported that IAF would induct 148 single-seat as well as 66 twin-seat variants of
the FGFA. IAF plans to induct the first lot of aircraft by 2017.[28] By 2012, this had been
changed to 214 single seat aircraft.[29]

Project changes and delays

In May 2012, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced a two-year delay in the project's
development. The then Defence Minister A K Antony had said that the FGFA would join the
Indian Air Force by 2017. However, his deputy, M M Pallam Raju, told the Parliament that the
fifth generation aircraft is scheduled to be certified by 2019, following which the series
production will start.[30] Ashok Nayak, who spoke on the record as HAL's chairman before
retiring, explained that the IAF have required 40-45 improvements made from the PAK-FA to
meet Indian needs. These changes were then formally agreed upon between India and Russia.[30]

There is apprehension that the FGFA would significantly exceed its current $6 billion budget,
because this figure reflects the expenditure on just the basic aircraft. Crucial avionics systems
would cost extra. The Russian and Indian air forces each plan to purchase about 250 FGFAs, at
an estimated $100 million per fighter for an $25 billion total, in addition to the development
costs.[30] By October 2012, India had cut its total purchase size from 200 to 144 aircraft. India's
initial investment had grown from $5 billion to $6 billion, and the estimated total programme
cost had grown to $30 billion.[2]

In 2013, it was revealed that the Russian and Indian fighters would be using the same
avionics.[31] Alexander Fomin said that "Both sides involved in this project are investing a lot
into it, and on equal terms."[32] Russia later admitted to huge delays and cost overruns in the
project.[33] The first prototype delivery has been delayed by one or two years. The contract has
not be finalised, and the IAF has accused HAL of giving away up to half of India's share of the
development work.[34][35] India contributes 15 percent of the research and development work, but
provides half the cost.[36]
India has "raised questions about maintenance issues, the engine, stealth features, weapon
carriage system, safety and reliability".[37] After repeated delays in the fighter's design and
workshare arrangements Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said in January 2015, "We
have decided to fast-track many of the issues."[38] The HAL is to receive three Russian
prototypes, one per year from 2015 to 2017 for evaluation.[39]

On 9 March 2015, media outlets reported that the countries agreed to reduce the aircraft delivery
time from 92 months to 36 months with the signing of the final agreement. India is also ready to
forego a 50:50 work share to prevent further delays from absorption of a new technology; both
countries agreed to manufacture the first batch of aircraft in Russia and for subsequent batches to
be manufactured by HAL.[40][41][42]

By 2016, Indian interest in the project was fading after Russia cut back their own purchases.[43]
On 25 January 2016, it was reported that Russia and India have agreed to develop FGFA and
lower investment cost to $4 billion for each nation. They will invest $1 billion in the first year
and another $500 million per year for the following six years.[44]


Radar with APAA for the PAK FA/FGFA is provided by NIIP

APAA in the leading edge slats

Optical detection pod for the PAK FA/FGFA

Although there is no reliable information about the PAK FA and FGFA specifications yet, it is
known from interviews with people in the Russian Air Force that it will be stealthy, have the
ability to supercruise, be outfitted with the next generation of air-to-air, air-to-surface, and air-to-
ship missiles, and incorporate an AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar. The PAK
FA/FGFA will use on its first flights 2 Saturn 117 engines (about 147.1 kN thrust each). The 117
is an advanced version of the AL-31F, but built with the experience gained in the AL-41F
programme. The AL-41F powered the Mikoyan MFI fighter (Mikoyan Project 1.44). Later
versions of the PAK FA will use a completely new engine (107 kN thrust each, 176 kN in full
afterburner), developed by NPO Saturn or FGUP MMPP Salyut.

Three Russian companies will compete to provide the engines with the final version to be
delivered in 2015–2016.[45]

Russian expertise in titanium structures will be complemented by India's experience in

composites like in the fuselage.[21] HAL is to be contributing largely to composites, cockpits and
avionics according to company statements made in September 2008. HAL is working to enter
into a joint development mechanism with Russia for the evolution of the FGFA engine as an
upward derivative of the AL-37.[citation needed] Speaking to Flight International, United Aircraft
chief Mikhail Pogosyan said India is giving engineering inputs covering latest airframe design,
Hi-Tech software development and other systems.[46]

By August 2014, the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) had completed the front end
engineering design for the FGFA for which a contract had been signed with India's HAL in 2010.
Preparation of contract for full-scale development is in progress.[47]

Differences for FGFA

The FGFA will be predominantly armed with weapons of Indian origin such as the Astra, a
beyond-visual-range missile (BVR) being developed by India. Although in keeping with the
Russian BVR doctrine of using a variety of different missiles for versatility and unpredictability
to countermeasures, the aircraft is expected to have compatibility with various missile types. The
FGFA may include systems developed by third parties.[48]

The completed joint Indian/Russian versions of the operational fighters will differ from the
current flying prototypes through the addition of stealth, supercruise, sensors, networking, and
combat avionics for a total of 43 improvements.[6]

Russia agreed to the demand of the Indian Air force that it must be a two-seater fighter.[49] The
Indian version will be a two-seater that will, "accommodate one pilot and a co-pilot who will
function as a Weapon Systems Operator (WSO)."[38]

Specifications (PAK FA and FGFA - projected)

Most of these figures are for the Sukhoi T-50 prototype and not the finished HAL FGFA.

Data from Aviation News,[50] Aviation Week,[51] Air International[52]

General characteristics
 Crew: 2[38]
 Length: 19.8 m (65.0 ft)
 Wingspan: 13.95 m (45.8 ft)
 Height: 4.74 m (15.6 ft)
 Wing area: 78.8 m2 (848.1 ft2)
 Empty weight: 18,000 kg (39,680 lb)
 Loaded weight: 25,000 kg (55,115 lb) typical mission weight, 29,270 kg (64,530 lb) at
full load
 Max. takeoff weight: 35,000 kg (77,160 lb)
 Powerplant: 2 × NPO Saturn izdeliye 117 (AL-41F1) for initial production, izdeliye 30
for later production[53] thrust vectoring turbofan
o Dry thrust: 93.1 kN / 110 kN (21,000 lbf / 24,300 lbf) each
o Thrust with afterburner: 147 kN / 176 kN (33,067 lbf / 39,600 lbf) each
 Fuel capacity: 10,300 kg (22,700 lb)[54]

 Maximum speed:
o At altitude: Mach 2.3 (2,440 km/h, 1,520 mph)
o Supercruise: Mach 1.6 (1,700 km/h, 1,060 mph)
 Range: 3,500 km (2,175 mi) subsonic
o 1,500 km (930 mi) supersonic[53]
 Ferry range: 5,500 km (3,420 mi) with one in-flight refueling[55]
 Service ceiling: 20,000 m (65,000 ft)
 Wing loading: 317–444 kg/m2 (65–91 lb/ft2)
 Thrust/weight:
o Saturn 117: 1.02 (1.19 at typical mission weight)
o izdeliye 30: 1.23 (1.41 at typical mission weight)
 Maximum g-load: +9.0 g[56]

 Guns: 1 × 30 mm internal cannon
 Hardpoints: 6 internal, 6 on wings

 Sh121 multi-functional integrated radio electronic system (MIRES)
o N079 AESA radar[57]
o L402 Himalayas ECM suite built by KNIRTI institute
 101KS Atoll electro-optical suite[58]
o 101KS-O: Laser-based counter-measures against infrared missiles
o 101KS-V: IRST for airborne targets
o 101KS-U: Ultraviolet warning sensors
o 101KS-N: Targeting pod
See also
India portal
Military of India portal
Russia portal
Related development

 Sukhoi PAK FA

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

 Chengdu J-20
 Lockheed F-22

Related lists

 List of fighter aircraft

 List of megaprojects, Aerospace


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58.  Butowski 2012, p. 50.

External links
News reports and articles:

 Air-attack.com news
 India, Russia to develop fifth-generation stealth fighter
 HAL's Baweja: Two different prototypes of 5th Gen fighter, etc


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