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"5th gen fighter aircraft project with Russia delayed"

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An illustration of FGFA. A HAL photo

NEW DELHI (PTI): The project to co-develop Fifth General Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) with Russia and the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft and Intermediate Jet Trainer programmes have been delayed, Defence Minister AK Antony has told the Lok Sabha.

Answering another query, he said due to time overruns in the Intermediate Jet Trainer programme of the HAL, the Government has decided to extend the use of the Kiran-MkI trainer aircraft till 2017-18.

"There have been delays in the indigenous development of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA-Tejas) and the FGFA," the Defence Minister said on Monday in reply to a written query.

He said the LCA has attained Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) on 20th December 2013, paving its way for induction into IAF.

In the FGFA project, the preliminary design phase has been completed in June last year, the Minister said.

According to Defence Ministry officials, the project has been stuck due to delays in deciding over the work share and the pricing issues in the project.

On the delays in the IJT project, Antony said it is "planned to replace Kiran Mk-I. Due to repeated revisions in the time line set for the IOC of IJT, and also considering the present state of the project regarding induction of the IJT in IAF it has been decided to extend the use of Kiran Mk-I."

He said after the study of the fatigue life spectrum of Kiran Mk-I aircraft, the Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness (Aircraft) has "recommended extension of Total Technical Life of the aircraft. This will help IAF to utilize the fleet till 2017-18, though in gradually reducing numbers."

Antony said the project was delayed due to loss of prototype which necessitated major changes like total redesign of the flight control system and increased number of design iteration for recovery and resolution.

On the Life Cycle Cost approach to determine the lowest bidders in defence procurement procedure, the Minister said, "On the suggestion of Finance Ministry, action has been initiated to include the LCC model in DPP."

"The model adopted may differ from case to case depending upon technical life of the platform, spares and maintenance requirements and other parameters," he said.

Tags:

FGFA  India  Russia  IJT  LCA  
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