"The cost of preliminary design is estimated at $295 million. The work is expected to be complete within 18 months," Nayak said.
Russia's Sukhoi holding and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) agreed in early 2010 to jointly develop a fifth-generation fighter jet based on the prototype T-50 design. India confirmed that it had finalized a draft contract at a meeting with Russia in early October.
Nayak said the contract could be signed by the representatives of India's HAL and Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) during a visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to India on December 20-22.
The two sides agreed to develop both a single-seat and a two-seat version of the aircraft by 2016, focusing on the single-seat version in the initial stages of development. The costs will be shared equally between Russia and India.
The first Russian prototype T-50 made its maiden flight in January 2010.
The new fighter aircraft is expected to enter service with the Indian Air Force by 2020.
- Russia, India 'likely' to sign 5G fighter contract in December
- India set to buy around 300 5th generation fighters from Russia
- Second prototype fifth-generation fighter to fly before yearend
- Russia tests engine for Indian fighter jet
- Russia, India to begin design of 5G-fighter in December