The initial version of a fifth-generation fighter jet being jointly developed by India and Russia could be unveiled as soon as 2014.
The two countries look set to sign a contract for the US$11 billion R&D phase of the by the end of 2012 or beginning of 2013, sharing the costs equally.
A senior team of Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) engineers and IAF experts is scheduled to visit Russia in the next two weeks to review the results of an earlier preliminary design contract.
The US35 billion programme will see 200 of the stealth aircraft, based on the Sukhoi T-50 and customised to IAF requirements, inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) from 2022 onwards.
The Sukhoi Design Bureau has produced T-50 prototypes which have flown around 180 sorties. It will deliver another three to HAL's Ozar facility at Nashik in 2014, 2017 and 2019, to be flown by IAF test pilots.
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