India and Russia will soon sign a multi-billion dollar agreement to co-develop an advanced stealth fighter, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said Thursday after talks with his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov.
The two economic superpower plan to join forces to share examples of defence cooperation between the two countries.
The two countries have already signed a shareholding agreement on the MTA, Antony said.
An official who did not want to be named said the FGFA contract was the focus of the Antony-Serdyukov talks.
The 30-tonne stealth aircraft -- each priced at around $100 million -- will have very advanced avionics, stealth to increase survivability and enhanced lethality, according to IAF officials.
The Indian Air Force alone plans to acquire around 250 fighters, making the deal worth $25 billion.
The twin-engine MTA, fitted with modern avionics, is a 15-20 tonne payload capacity aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of up to 65 tonnes and a cruise speed of 800 kmph. The total development cost is estimated at over $600 million to be equally shared by both sides.
India and Russia share a long standing defence and strategic partnership that goes back to the Cold War era.
Previous agreements include the transfer of technology for the licensed production of T-90 tanks in India, the production of BrahMos missiles and the purchase of Smerch MLRS by India.