A Russian-Indian advanced multirole fighter is being developed from a Russian prototype by Sukhoi, which is part of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, under an intergovernmental agreement signed in October.
"At present we are building prototypes of the fifth-generation fighter and will soon start preparation for flight-testing, which is planned for 2009," Sukhoi CEO Mikhail Pogosyan announced at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) 2007 exhibition in Malaysia.
Pogosyan said mass production of the future fighter could begin by 2015.
The new fighter aircraft, which will feature high maneuverability and stealth to ensure air superiority and precision in destroying ground and sea targets, will be built at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft-manufacturing plant in Russia's Far East.
Discussing the future implementation of the Russian-Indian project, Pogosyan said joint efforts should be focused on three areas: coordination of technical specifications, application of advanced technologies, and preparation of a legal framework for future cooperation.
"We have conducted preliminary discussions on these issues and now we have to work out a detailed program for the implementation of the [fifth-generation fighter] project," the official said.
India and Russia have a long history of military cooperation, going back almost half a century. The existing Russian-Indian military-technical cooperation program, which lasts until 2010, lists up to 200 projects worth about $18 billion in all, according to Russia's defense ministry.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.