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Development of India’s Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft Under Way

First Flight Anticipated for 2032

Development work on the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), India’s next indigenous fighter, is under way, according to sources in New Delhi. The prototype is expected to make its maiden flight around 2032, on current plans.

The design is to be based initially on geometric rather than material stealth, sources close to the programme have revealed. Geometric stealth dictates the physical design shape of the aircraft being carefully structured to deflect the maximum amount of radar waves, thereby minimising radar cross-section. The Prototype is likely to fly with two General Electric GE-414 engines, in advance of the ongoing Indian engine programme reaching fruition.

Two years ago, officials at India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), stated that the basic design configuration had been frozen after subsequent to wind tunnel testing, and that three critical technologies remain to be developed: stealth, thrust vectoring and super cruise.

Following the decision not to proceed with a mooted project with Russia, AMCA is India’s only fifth-generation aircraft programme and will build on the capabilities and expertise developed in the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme. MONCh understands that the Air Force has provided land to DRDO in order to establish dedicated facilities.

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