India will get a glance of the joint Indo-Russian Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft when Russia conducts a test flight next week.

Moscow and New Delhi have signed an inter-governmental agreement for joint design, development and production of the aircraft, involving the Sukhoi Design Bureau on the Russian side and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) on the Indian side.

The test flight is being held for Indian Defense Minister A. K. Antony, who is visiting Moscow Oct. 3-5, according to a senior defense ministry official.

The Indian air force will be the first foreign customer to buy the new jet. India has announced plans to buy 250-300 fighters of this type, with the first deliveries expected in 2016-17. The cost of the project is likely to exceed $35 billion.

In December 2010, India and Russia signed a $295 million preliminary design contract. The initial design will take approximately 18 months. The Indian model’s main difference will be a two-man crew, and HAL is hoping to complete the initial design.

India is expected to spend around $35 billion over the next two decades to field these advanced stealth fighters from 2020 onward.

During Antony’s visit to Russia, the two sides also will discuss the licensed manufacture and maintenance of T-90 tanks and Su-30MKI aircraft in India, the official says.

Meanwhile, plans are being formed to upgrade the Su-30MKI, deployed by the Indian air force, with certain fifth-generation aircraft characteristics to convert it into a “Super Sukhoi.” The service currently has about 100 Su-30MKI fighters. “The upgrade will cover the Su-30MKI’s weapons load and list,” the official says.

The modernized Su-30MKI will be loaded with one air-launched BrahMos missile, another joint development involving Brahmos Aerospace Private Ltd., Sukhoi Holding and HAL.

While in Russia, Antony will co-chair the 11th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation with his Russian counterpart,  A.E. Serdyukov, the official says.

Besides regional and global security issues, the two sides will review the progress of important projects such as the conversion of the former Admiral Gorshkov carrier, as well as the delivery of frigates and Multi-Role Transport Aircraft.

In the run-up to the meeting, seven sub-groups and two working groups covering all areas of military technical cooperation between the two countries have met and discussed a range of issues pertaining to equipment and technology transfer, product support and other matters, the official says.