In our article today, we will find out who is leading in the arms race between China and India, why Indian developers refused to cooperate in the development of the T-50, and which country will be chosen in the future by the Indian government to the acquisition of upcoming fighters.
Race of India and China
At present, a very tense geopolitical situation has developed between these two states. In this regard, both sides are developing and increasing the power of their military aircraft. According to the official data available to date, China is overtaking neighboring India in a very important direction, namely, in terms of the level and quality of developments being introduced into the ranks of its Air Force. Today, 5th generation fighters are at the stage of intensive testing. Its representatives are the fighter jets “Krechet” (Shenyang J-31) and “Black Eagle” (Chengdu J-20).
India, counting on the gratitude of the Russian manufacturer until 2018 took an active part in the work related to the creation of the Su-57 prototype (namely, in the T-50 project). Unfortunately, it so happened that cooperation between Russia and India fell apart. And this happened due to the fact that the Indian side considered the domestic fighter of the 5th generation to fall short of the proper level. According to the Indian counterpart’s conclusion, its equipment, installed avionics, as well as radars and sensors are not modern enough, and for a representative of the 5th generation, the fighter is too noticeable.
Where to buy a fighter jet?
Since the Indian developers left the T-50 project, for some time there was uncertainty about the issue of the acquisition of new combat aircraft by the Indian Air Force. But soon negotiations on the purchase of Russian fighters of the latest model resumed again. It seems to be logical, because since the 2000s, 250 Russian Su-30MKIs have been delivered to the Indian Air Force and have been put into operation, which occupied the big share in the entire military aircraft fleet of Indian air force. But in this whole story, to date, new information has appeared that introduces uncertainty and unpredictability in the further development of events.
Analysts at the Chinese portal Sohu, having analyzed all the incoming data regarding this issue, put forward the assumption that Russian manufacturers of military aircraft are not able to satisfy the requests of the Indian Air Force. The Armed Forces and the Government of India want to commission a certain number of 5th generation fighters by 2026, and the only company that can satisfy this request is Lockheed Martin (USA). In support of their conclusions, Chinese experts and analysts cite unofficial data on the talks with Indian representatives that took place in Moscow.
F-35 or Su-57?
While according to russian experts production version of the Su-57 is a pre-production model. The Su-57 of the second stage, or as it is also called “Super dry”, will become a full-fledged representative of the 5th generation of domestic fighters. This modification will be cured of the shortcomings of previous models, the avionics will be upgraded to the level of the 5th generation of fighters, and engines of the proper class will be provided to support supersonic cruising speed.
This model of an ultra-modern domestic fighter will appear no earlier than 2024. And when its export modification will be presented, at present it is not even possible to imagine.
CGI of T-50 for Indian air force
Against the background of all this, the version of the F-35, already ready for sale, looks very advantageous. This American fighter is currently the only 5th generation fighter in the world to be mass-produced and sold outside its manufacturing country.