Saturday, September 11, 2010

India and Russia Each Pledge $6 billion to Co-Develop PAK FA

Late on Thursday evening, in a triumph for the Russia-India defence relationship, the two countries signed off on a joint venture to co-develop a 15-20-tonne payload, 2,500-km range multi-role transport aircraft (MTA), which will replace the Indian Air Force’s venerable AN-32 at the end of the next decade.But this path-breaking $600-million co-development of the MTA is likely to be dwarfed soon, when India and Russia each pledge $6 billion to co-develop the world’s premier fighter. HAL Chairman Ashok Nayak had indicated that the deal was done. “It is in the system for approval,” said Nayak. “The respective work shares have been agreed to by both sides and once we sign the preliminary design contract, we will finish the design in about 18 months. Developing and building the fighter could take 8-10 years, and each side will pay $6 billion as its share.”The Russian and Indian Air Forces each plan to build around 250 fighters, at an estimated cost of $100 million each. That adds up to $25 billion, over and above the development cost.


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