New Delhi: India has conveyed to Russia its unwillingness to go ahead with the joint development of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) primarily due to high cost involved in the project, official sources said. They, however, said the negotiations between the two countries on the much ambitious project have not yet been shelved as India was ready to have a re-look at co-development of the jet if an appropriate cost sharing formula between the two countries was arrived at.
India and Russia had signed an inter-governmental agreement for the mega project in 2007, vowing to take the military ties between the two strategic partners to the next level. However, the project has been stuck for the last 11 years as there have been serious differences between the two sides on sharing cost of developing the jet, technologies to be used in it and number of aircraft to be produced.
The sources said the cost of the project has been estimated at around $30 billion or Rs 2 lakh crore. "Our position on various aspect of the project, including the cost component, has been conveyed to the Russian side and there has been no resolution to the issues yet," a top official involved in the negotiations with Russia over the project said. In December 2010, India had agreed to pay USD 295 million towards the preliminary design of the fighter jet.
Later, both sides had expressed intent to contribu...