Excerpts from UAC Chief Interview Mikhail Pogosyan RT: What impact will the arrival of the fifth generation of fighter jets have on the concept of military action in the air?
MP: I'm sure it will have a serious impact, since the fifth generation of jets will have a new level of stealth, and higher military capacities and range for air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles. These jets will be able to fight the enemy while staying out of the killing zone. I'm sure that the introduction of fifth-generation jets will also improve the performance of fourth-generation jets which will perform within the same group of jets. I think that the demand for new advanced jets will not only open the market for the fifth-generation jets, but will also extend the lifetime of the fourth-generation jets via new modifications, because mixed jet groups of these two kinds will have a very high performance level.RT: So, fifth-generation jets – are they produced entirely in Russia, or are there still some parts or some technology that you import?
MP: Those jets that are now being tested are 100 per cent produced in Russia. But in view of the international nature of our program, we signed a contract with India in December, we'll co-operate on conceptual design with them, and this obviously will result in the fact that at some stages some non-domestic equipment will be involved. I think that this is quite in line with the spirit of the times, and I'm sure that we'll find ways of co-operation with our overseas suppliers which will allow us to guarantee that the tasks set by the customer are completed. There's nothing wrong with this. We're making our aircraft, both civil and military, not only for the domestic market, but for the international market, too. And this makes us look for the best solutions which would meet all the tough requirements set by customers.RT: You mentioned a contract signed with India on a fifth-generation fighter jet project, while there are reports saying that China is planning to produce an exact copy of the Russian fighter jet – is that true, and if so, were you taking into account such a competitor?
MP: There have been some reports recently in the media saying that China has started testing its own fighter jet of the fifth generation. This probably means that the investment made and the goals set by the Chinese aircraft industry cover not only civil aircraft manufacturing, but fifth-generation jets as well. So I think it'll make our life more interesting. Competition always makes you develop further, be more active.RT: Could you perhaps expand a bit more – how would the market react, should a Chinese fighter jet emerge?
MP: Making such complex products as fifth-generation fighter jets is a very complicated and time-consuming business. I think that the market will react to the products it's offered. I think that we are quite ready to compete with our overseas partners, and this applies to competing both with the most advanced American aircraft, and with the new projects by our Chinese colleagues. I do not think that we will lose our position on the market. Our goal is to convince the market of the advantages of the aircraft we're developing together with our Indian partners.