Less than a month after the IAF indicated that its choice for a 5th Generation Combat Aircraft would be the country’s Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), India’s defence research agency – DRDO – has made a request for additional funding beyond the Rs 4 billion allocated in December 2018 for the design of the aircraft. As the aircraft moves to the prototype stage, an additional Rs 70 to Rs 80 billion would be required over the next decade.
The AMCA which, along with the successor to the Tejas light combat aircraft, the Medium Weight Fighter (MWF, previously the Tejas Mk.2), are the two local projects in which the IAF has invested much of its hopes for the future. It is also clear that the IAF intends to use a 98kn GE F414 powerplant for both the MWF and two of the said engine for the initial batch of two squadrons of the AMCA. The next six AMCA squadrons will have two 110kn engines which are to be developed through a collaboration with a foreign entity.
The twin-engine AMCA will feature advanced stealth, supercruise, super-manoeuverability, data fusion and multi-sensor integration with AESA (active electronically scanned array) radars.
Photo: HAL AMCA model shown at Aero India 2019