In spite of the avalanche of publications triggered by the rumors that the US is going to gift the Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier to India in return for the promise to buy F-18, serious sources express assuredness that for India the deal on Gorshkov being upgraded by Sevmash even with the on-going financial problems is a far better choice. First and foremost: Russia is ready to share its latest technologies, which can become the basis for India’s own defense industries comparable with those of the US. In its turn US is interested just in some additional profit through selling older stuff. It is out of the question that US would give away its fifth generation technologies to anybody else. Even the closest allies like Israel and the UK are offended by the reluctance of the US to share the JSF technologies, for example.
However, the most ridiculous thing is that the US is ready to reconsider its own sanctions against India in the nuclear sphere if Delhi agrees to buy F-18. Isn’t it absurd when a wrong-doing nation (otherwise why India is punished with the US-imposed restrictions) is forgiven if it agrees to buy…. US arms?
Right in the middle of the publications, which once again proved that usually media works for sensations, not for information the head of the press-service of Sevmash Michael Starozhilov announced that the shipyard hosted the Secretary of the Ministry of Defense - the First Deputy Minister of Defense of India Vidzhej Singh and the Ambassador of India to Russia Shukla. They visited Sevmash to check the process of modernization of the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya . "This visit has shown that the Indian party is still interested in continuing the works on the repair and modernization of the aircraft carrier". It is planned that in March a high ranking delegation of the Indian Navy will pay another working visit to Sevmash to continue studying the process of the works.
Nearly simultaneously with the Kitty Hawk rumors it became known that first Indian deck pilots will arrive in May to the training base to study deck Mig-29. Also this week the representatives of the Ministry of Defense of India and corporation Hindustan Aeronautics Limited visited Russian KnAAPO to discuss practical questions concerning the on-going joint Russian-Indian project on the fifth generation multipurpose fighter, fulfilled jointly by Sukhoi and HAL.
Meanwhile Russia is advancing with its own fighter programs. First experimental Su-35 started flight tests in Zhukovsky. KnAAPO is assembling two more aircraft. They will join the program of tests this year. Su -35 will be commissioned with the Russian AF in 2010-2011. According to the head of Sukhoi Michael Pogosyan officially announced that the program of creating the fifth generation PAK FA is fulfilled to the degree of about 30 %. Today Sukhoi is at the stage of constructing the pre-production model which will take some years."Then we will stage by stage increase the combat properties of plane". Pogosyan also stressed that from the very beginning this plane has been focused not only on the home market, but also for export.
It is worthwhile mentioning that the development of the combat aircraft in Russia at the moment goes on in extremely favourable conditions. At the ceremony of launching the new aerospace centre in Zhukovsky the President of Russia Vladimir Putin stressed that the country has money and is ready to spend it on the development of its aviation. Separately Putin suggested to the Ministry of Defense to correct the state arms program before 2015 with the aim to increase the procurement of the new aircraft for the RFAF, not just repairing available.