Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) – UPSC GS3

Salient Features of Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) are:

  1. It is complete stealth aircraft even if it with missiles (heavy) and arms.
  2. Very low probability for interception by Radar. Supersonic speed gives edge over radar detection unless it is near radar station itself.
  3. High-performance air frames, advanced avionics features, and highly integrated computer systems capable of networking with other elements within the battlespace for situational awareness.
  4. Cost effective if we compare to introducing same feature in Fourth Generation Aircraft fighter.
  5. More competent to fourth generation fighter aircraft and hence gives an Air combat edge.
Right now major defense companies like Dassault (France, Rafale producer), Sukhoi (Russia), Lockheed Martin (USA) are manufacturing it.
Indian Air Force(IAF) in 2007 signed a project to co-develop FGFA with India’s HAL and Russia’s ROBOBORONEXPERT(defense expert in manufacturing) collaboration. But  now India is ignoring it and resorting to 126 FGFA purchasing which will costs in billions and inflating the defense budget of India. It is not a correct measure from India’s side because of following reasons:
  1. High tech FGFA are liability once the maintenance contract ends, then for each year India will have to pay for maintenance. While the IGA (Intergovernmental Agreement) to co-develop would have lowered the cost drastically. Already Russia is ready with FGFA named PAK-FA and found uncooperative to share technology and details with India. India must approach in piece meal approach of purchasing few and asking for knowledge transfer for maintenance.
  2. Co-developing such Fighter aircrafts will also boost India’s stand on future manufacture which is only with US, China, Russia, France and Turkey right now. It will boost India’s campaign “Make in India” in long term.



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