18 May, 2007 (FIDSNS)
NPO “Saturn” temporarily suspended the work on developing engine for the fifth generation fighter aircraft.
“without the support of Defense Ministry the creation of promising engine is impossible”, said the company official Kuzmenko.
The trigger for the development is the replacement of Air Force Chief Commander Vladimir Mikhailov with Alexander Zelin. Mikhailov had lobbied for the engine design proposed by Salyut Moscow Heavy-Industry Production Enterprise. Salyut is a comptetior of NPO Saturn. Salyut is working on an engine with thurst of 15.3 tons and NPO Saturn’s engine has 14.5-ton thrust. NPO-Saturn is the official engine developement partner for the Russian 5th generation fighter.
India is finalizing terms and condition for its participation with Russia for the fifth generation aircraft. NPO Saturn sells engines to both arch rivals India and China while Salyut sells only to China.