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India sanctions development of 5th-Gen locally made Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft.

| Defense News Aerospace 2024

On March 7, 2024, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, authorized the development of the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), a fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft. The project, estimated at 15,000 crores of rupees, includes the design and development of five prototypes over five years, in collaboration with the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), and private sector partners.
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India sanctions development of advanced 5th Gen locally made Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft India 5th-Gen indigenous combat aircraft (Picture source: India MoD)

Five prototypes of the AMCA are expected to be built in the next five years, with the launch of the prototype planned in three years. This program aims to reduce India's dependence on foreign fighter jets while boosting the national defense industry and creating jobs.

The AMCA is described as a versatile, medium-weight, twin-engine, fifth-generation combat aircraft with advanced stealth capabilities. It is designed to perform both air-to-air and air-to-ground operations with lethal efficiency. The aircraft will have a single-seat configuration, with shoulder-mounted diamond-shaped trapezoidal wings and a shape optimized to reduce drag at transonic speeds. It will integrate distributed passive sensors and AI-assisted data fusion to enhance situational awareness, as well as integrated computer systems for networking and command, control, and communication (C3) capabilities.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) plans to acquire seven squadrons of the AMCA, with two equipped with the Mark 1 version, powered by the General Electric F414 engine, and the others by an improved version equipped with a 110-kilonewton engine currently under development.

This project is not only a step toward autonomy in the air defense sector for India but also a means to support the "Make in India" initiative by strengthening the national defense sector and creating jobs. The AMCA is expected to be introduced in operational roles beyond 2030, with a potential order of over 200 fighter aircraft of this category for the IAF.

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