Indian Defense Minister A. K. Antony announced last week that the Indian air force will acquire between 250 and 300 Sukoi PAK-FA stealth fighters from Russia starting in 2017, according to Indian and US press reports. He made the announcement during Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov’s visit to New Delhi. These fifth generation fighter aircraft, as India calls them, will be jointly developed and manufactured by Sukhoi and India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, they stated. The agreement for the fighters is expected to be signed in December when Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits India, reports Voice of America. The deal will be the largest military deal ever between the two nations, reports Indian Express. The PAK-FA flew for the first time in January. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has boasted that it will outclass the F-22. (See also Times of India report)
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.