Three Russian firms are competing to win the engine development contract for India and Russia’s fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) programme.

NPO Saturn, Salyut and Klimov Plant are currently carrying out the preliminary R&D on the block 2 engine, which will be developed in five to six years, according to

Developed by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), and Russia’s Sukhoi Corporation, the aircraft is expected to cost $85m to $100m to be equally shared by India and Russia.

The FGFA’s airframe will be based on a Russian design, while India will provide composite materials for the hull and artificial intelligence.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) will induct the twin-stick two-seater version of the multirole fighter jet in 2017, while Russia will induct the single-seater version of the fighter in 2015.

The T-50 technology demonstrator of the FGFA made its maiden flight on 29 January 2010.