Source: Financial Express
Stage is getting ready for the launch of India’s own fifth generation stealth fighter aircraft — Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA). Prototype design for the twin engine AMCA is in the process of being finalized and is expected to be sent for approval to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).
This will happen at the end of consultations between all the stakeholders including Indian Air Force (IAF), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Ministry of Defence & Ministry of Finance.
Expected Cost of AMCA
The estimated cost of just developing the prototype of AMCA is pegged at Rs 15,000 crore and the rollout of the first prototype is scheduled for 2025-26.
The design and development of AMCA has been carried out by ADA for almost a decade and as reported in Financial Express Online earlier, ADA officials had indicated that the prototype of AMCA will be ready by 2025. However, the engine for AMCA has yet to be decided.
The former air chief RKS Bhadauria had ruled out importing a fifth-generation aircraft in the near future and had stated that IAF will push for the indigenous AMCA.
It has been reported earlier that the production of Mark-1 is expected to start by next decade and timelines set are aggressive, as the IAF is looking to induct the AMCA in its fleet soon. Most likely the IAF will be able to induct AMCA by 2035.
IAF’s Fleet & Modernisation
IAF, which is facing a critical shortage of fighters in its fleet (has around 32 fighter squadrons) has already announced its support for AMCA and has planned the modernization of its fleet accordingly.
Support from global aerospace companies
Aerospace giants including US based Lockheed Martin & Boeing Company; and Swedish Company SAAB have offered their expertise to India for the AMCA project.
More about AMCA
Sources have indicated that the first two squadrons of AMCA Mk-1 will be powered by GE-414 which is already being used in the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) `Tejas’.
The HAL CMD had indicated earlier this year on the sidelines of Aero-India 2021 that in collaboration with a foreign company work will start soon on a new engine.
The swing-role AMCA will come with advanced stealth features. There will be an internal bay for smart weapons.
It will have supercruise capability useful to attain supersonic cruise speeds without using afterburners and as data fusion and multi-sensor integration with Active Electronically Scanned Array radars.