|PAK FA T-50 prototype on the day of its first flight|
|Role||Stealth Air superiority fighter|
|Manufacturer||Sukhoi Design Bureau |
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
|Primary user||Indian Air Force|
|Program cost||US$ 8-10 billion|
|Unit cost||US$100 million (est.)|
|Developed from||Sukhoi PAK FA|
According to HAL chairman A.K. Baweja shortly after the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Committee meeting on 18 September 2008, the Russian aircraft will be a single-seater, the Indian FGFA will be a twin seater, analogous to the Su-30MKI which is a twin seat variant of the baseline Su-27. Two separate prototypes will be developed, one by Russia (designated the T-50), and a separate one by India (designated FGFA).
A contract between Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), will commit to building 250 fighters for the IAF and an equal number for Russia. The option for further orders will be kept open. HAL and UAC will be equal partners in a joint venture company, much like the Brahmos JV, that will develop and manufacture the FGFA. Further it was reported that the Bangalore-based HAL has negotiated firmly to get 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 single-seat prototype into the twin-seat fighter that the Indian Air Force (IAF) wants. Further Russia’s expertise in titanium structures will be complemented by India’s experience in composites like in the fuselage. A total of 500 aircraft are planned with option for further aircraft. Russian Air Force will have 200 single seated and 50 twin-seated PAK FAs while Indian Air Force will get 200 twin-seated and 50 single seated FGFAs.
Sukhoi director Mikhail Pogosyan has projected a market for 1000 aircraft over the next four decades, two hundred each for Russia and India and six hundred for other countries. 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."
The Indian media also use the term FGFA generically to refer to any fifth generation fighter aircraft.
DevelopmentAir Chief Marshal Naik said the 30-tonne FGFA will be a "swing-role fighter, with very advanced avionics, stealth to increase survivability, enhanced lethality, 360 degree situational awareness, smart weapons, data-links, high-end mission computers and the like. Along with 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft, which India plans to acquire, 270 Sukhoi-30MKIs contracted from Russia, and 220 indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, the FGFA will be the mainstay of India's air combat fleet for the foreseeable future. This, in addition to the remaining 50 odd Mirage 2000 fighters, 61 MIG-29 SMT, and the 125 MIG-21 Bison operational till 2017.This will help IAF to reach the sanctioned healthy strength of 44 squadrons with more than 792 aircraft.
The joint-venture borrows heavily from the success of the Brahmos project. Russia and India had agreed in early 2007 to jointly study and develop a Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft Programme (FGFA). On October 27, 2007, Asia Times quoted Sukhoi's director, Mikhail Pogosyan, "We will share the funding, engineering and intellectual property in a 50-50 proportion." The Indian version, according to the deal, will be different from the Russian version and specific to Indian requirements. While the Russian version will be a single-pilot fighter, the Indian variant will have a twin-seat configuration based on its operational doctrine which calls for greater radius of combat operations. The wings and control surfaces need to be reworked for the FGFA. 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.
According to HAL chairman A.K. Baweja on 16 September 2008, HAL will be contributing largely to composites, cockpits and avionics. 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. 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.
 Difference between PAK FA and FGFAThe difference between PAK FA and the FGFA will be similar to that between Su-30M and Su-30MKI. Su-30M is a standard Russian version of a plane, whereas the Su-30MKI (MKI stands for "Modernizirovannyi Kommercheskiy Indiski" meaning "Modernized Commercial India") was jointly-developed with India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the Indian Air Force. The Su-30MKI includes Thrust Vectoring Control (TVC) and canards. It is equipped with a multi-national avionics complex sourced from India, Israel, Russia and France. Further the FGFA will be predominantly using weapons of Indian origin such as Astra, a Beyond Visual Range missile being developed by India, although in keeping with the Russian BVR doctrine of using a vast variety of different missiles for versatility and unpredictability to countermeasures, it can be expected to have compatibility with many different missile types. Ashok Baweja stated that "The Indian FGFA is significantly different from the Russian PAK FA because a second pilot means the addition of another dimension, development of wings and control surfaces."
The FGFA may also include systems developed by third parties.
The FGFA along with the SU-30 MKI will eventually form the backbone of the IAF's fighter force it will complement the HAL Tejas, AMCA, SU-30MKI,and the unnamed fighter from the MRCA competition.
DesignAlthough 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 radar. The FGFA will use on her first flights 2 Saturn 117S engines (about 14.5 ton thrust each). The 117S is an advanced version of the AL-31F, but built with the experience gained in the AL-41F program. The AL-41F powered the Mikoyan MFI fighter (Mikoyan Project 1.44). Later versions of the PAK FA will use a completely new engine (17.5 ton thrust each), 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.
Specifications (PAK FA and FGFA - projected)Most of these figures are for the single seat Sukhoi T-50 and not the finished PAK FA or two seat HAL FGFA.
Data from Warfare.ruGeneral characteristics
- Crew: 2 (pilot)
- Length: 22.0 m (72 ft 2 in)
- Wingspan: 14.2 m (46 ft 7 in)
- Height: 6.05 m (19 ft 10 in)
- Wing area: 78.8 m² (848 ft²)
- Empty weight: 18,500 kg (40,786 lb)
- Loaded weight: 26,000 kg (57,320 lb)
- Useful load: 7,500 kg (16,535 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 37,000 kg (81,571 lb)
- Powerplant: 2× Saturn-Lyulka AL-41F turbofan
- Dry thrust: 96.1 kN (9,800 kgf, 21,605 lbf) each
- Thrust with afterburner: 152 kN (15,500 kgf, 34,172 lbf) each
- Maximum speed: 2,100 km/h (Mach 2)  (1,305 mph
- g-limits: (10-11 g)
- Cruise speed: 1,300 km/h (800 mph)
- Ferry range: 5,500 km (3,400 mi)
- Service ceiling: 20,000 m (65,617 ft)
- Rate of climb: 350 m/s (68,898 ft/min)
- Wing loading: 330(normal) - 470(maximum) kg/m2 (67(normal) - 96(maximum) lb/ft2)
- Thrust/weight: 1.19 
- Runway: 350 m (1,148 ft)
- Endurance: 3.3 hrs (198 mins)
- Guns: 2× 30 mm internal cannon
- Hardpoints: 16 total, 8 internal, 8 on wings.
- Radar: N050(?)BRLS AESA/PESA Radar (Enhancement of IRBIS-E) on SU-35
- Frequency: X (8 - 12 GHz)
- Diameter: 0.7 m (2 ft 4 in)
- Targets: 32 tracked, 8 engaged
- Range: > 400 km (248 mi)
- EPR: 3 m² (32.3 ft²) at 400 km (248 mi)
- RCS: 3 m ² to 400 km, 1 m ² to 300 km, 0.5 m ² to 240 km, 0.1m ² to 165 km, 0.01M ² to 90 km.
- Azimuth: 240 ° (± 120 °)
- Power: 5,000 W
- Weight: 65 to 80 kg (143 to 176 lb)