AMCA detailed design underway, AMCA Testbox to be built for testing

The indigenous Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) would be manufactured through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) jointly formed between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and private players.

AMCA is expected to give a major boost to the Indian Defence and Aerospace industry. And, the process of getting design and prototype development approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has been initiated. This was stated in the Parliament by the Minister of state for Defence Ajay Bhatt earlier in the week.

The project is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, and is being designed and developed by HAL and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). In the AMCA project which is a fifth generation aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF), “The preliminary design phase has been completed and detailed design activities have been launched. HAL is being and will be involved in structural design and as a design partner for the entire range of systems,” a source confirmed to Financial Express Online.

The assembly activity for fabrication of AMCA ‘Test Box’ at HAL’s ARDC facilities in Bengaluru has already been launched.

The main requirement of ‘Test Box’ is to withstand the bird impact combined with lower radar cross section signature. For the assembly build, jig-less assembly approach is adopted wherein the concept / philosophy of ‘Determinate Assembly’ methodology is brought in during the component design and manufacturing processes.

“This methodology will pave the way for reducing substantial assembly time and bringing in-process quality during assembly. The ‘Jig Less Assembly’ methodology has been initiated by positioning the components,” said the source. Last week, DRDO had announced the proverbial ‘metal cutting’ for the first prototype of India’s futuristic fighter jet, the AMCA.

In India’s efforts to move towards self reliance, this is a huge step and the development of the 5.5 generation fighter jet will be the mainstay of IAF.

ADA is expected to make five prototypes of AMCA for flight testing and development. It has been reported earlier that the first flight of the prototype is expected to take place in 2024-25 and Mk-1 series production will start in 2030, and Mk-2 variant in 2035.

The setting of SPV was first floated in 2020 and received government’s approval, when the configuration was frozen after the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) in December of that year.


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