Russia's Su-57 Stealth Fighter Could Fly for India. Here's Why.

Mark Episkopos

Mark Episkopos

Security,

And you thought this deal was dead. 

Russia's Su-57 Stealth Fighter Could Fly for India. Here's Why.

As Moscow moves to mass-produce the Su-57 in much larger quantities than previously expected, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is cautiously signaling its interest in Russia’s fifth-generation fighter.

IAF Chief of Staff Birender Singh Dhanoa gave the following appraisal in a recent interview with Russian media: “if you mean the [Su-57] fifth-generation fighter, we have not yet reviewed this issue. When it enters service in your armed forces-- only then will we be able to make a decision. We will consider it for procurement after we see it in action and it is delivered to us for review.”

Russia’s arms export industry has re-pitched the Su-57 to India several times since New Delhi’s 2018 withdrawal from a joint Russian-Indian program to manufacture a Su-57 export variant known as the FGFA (Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft). As tepid and carefully-worded as it is, Dhanoa’s statement is arguably the clearest public acknowledgment to date that India has not taken the Su-57 off the table as a prospective import option.

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