Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) Prototype Expected by 2028-29


03:05 AM

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Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) Prototype Expected by 2028-29 Blog Image

What’s in today’s article?

  • Why in News?
  • What are Fifth-generation fighter jets?
  • What is Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)?

Why in News?

The Defence Ministry is planning to involve the private sector significantly in the design and development of the indigenous fifth-generation fighter aircraft, the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA). This involvement is crucial for the timely execution of the project, with the first prototype expected by 2028-29, according to official sources.

What are Fifth-generation fighter jets?

  • Fifth-generation fighter jets are designed to carry out a range of missions, such as air-to-air combat and ground attack. 
  • They have plain surfaces, specially shaped exhaust nozzles, and engines located in the plane's body to hide heat signatures. 
  • They also have special radars to detect the aircraft's own radar emissions.
  • Only a few countries have built a fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft. 
  • The list of the aircraft currently in service includes the F-22 Raptor and F-35A Lightning II of the US, the Chinese J-20 Mighty Dragon, and the Russian Sukhoi Su-57.

What is Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)?

  • About
    • Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) is India’s fifth-generation fighter multirole fighter jet.
      • This aircraft will be bigger than other fighters in the Indian Air Force inventory.
    • The aircraft will put India in a select group of nations that have their own fifth-generation fighter aircraft.
  • Organisations involved
  • Features
    • Stealth
      • The 25-tonne twin-engine aircraft will have advanced stealth features to avoid detection by enemy radar.
    • Fuel & Weapons
      • The aircraft will have a large, concealed internal fuel tank of 6.5-tonne capacity, and an internal weapons bay for a range of weapons, including indigenous weapons, to be buried in its belly.
    • Engine
      • The AMCA Mk1 variant will have the US-built GE414 engine of the 90 kilonewton (kN) class.
      • The more advanced AMCA Mk2 will fly on the more powerful 110kN engine.
      • This will be developed indigenously by DRDO’s Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) in collaboration with a foreign defence major.
  • Significance of Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)
    • India’s indigenous fifth-generation fighter aircraft
      • The AMCA will be India’s indigenous fifth-generation fighter aircraft. 
      • The indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas is a 4.5-generation single-engine multirole aircraft.
    • Advance stealth feature
      • What will set this aircraft apart from the existing fourth-generation is primarily its stealth features. 
      • The aircraft will have a low electro-magnetic signature, which will make it difficult for enemy radar to detected it. 
      • At the same time, it will have powerful sensors and new weapons, so it is able to register the signature of enemy aircraft and take them out.
    • Higher utilisation time and smaller serviceability
      • Another important aspect would be to ensure a higher utilisation time and smaller serviceability or maintenance periods for the aircraft. 
      • This will be aided by the inclusion of a comprehensive Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) system to keep track of multiple structural components, and to assess the condition of the aircraft in real-time.
    • IAF’s dwindling numbers
      • The IAF currently has around 30 fighter squadrons against the sanctioned strength of 42. 
      • This number is expected to go down further as squadrons of MiG-21s, MiG-29s, Jaguars, and Mirage 2000s are scheduled to be phased out by the middle of the next decade.
      • The IAF has indicated that it requires seven squadrons of the AMCA to begin with.
    • Strategic significance
      • China has made great progress in the development and deployment of fifth-generation fighter aircraft.
      • It has recently deployed its twin-engine J-20 FGFA in Tibet bordering India.
  • Clearance from Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS)
    • The AMCA project, sanctioned by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in March 2024, is set to develop a 25-tonne twin-engine stealth aircraft with advanced features, aiming for a prototype by 2028-29.
    • The development of AMCA is planned to be carried out in two phases: 
      • a MK1 with the General Electric F414 engine and 
      • a Mk2 with a more powerful engine planned to be co-developed in partnership with Saran of France for which discussions are under way.

Q.1. What is Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS)?

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is an essential decision-making body in the Indian government, focusing on national security and defense policies. It oversees strategic planning, defense procurement, and coordination of intelligence and internal security matters. 

Q.2. What is Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas?

The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas is a single-engine, multirole, 4.5-generation fighter jet developed by India's Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It enhances the Indian Air Force's operational capabilities with advanced avionics and weapons systems.

Source: Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft prototype expected by 2028-29 | Indian Express