ADVANCED MEDIUM COMBAT AIRCRAFT (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     3rd July 2024        

Context: The Defence Ministry is advancing the project for the indigenous fifth-generation fighter aircraft, Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), and is developing a model to significantly involve the private sector to ensure timely execution.

Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)

  • About: The AMCA is designed to be a fifth-generation, medium-weight, multi-role, and twin-engine aircraft.
  • Stealth and Configuration: Envisaged as a 25-tonne twin-engine stealth aircraft, it features an internal weapons bay and diverterless supersonic intake, a first-time achievement in India.
  • Payload and Fuel Capacity: Intended to carry 1,500 kg of internal payload, 5,500 kg of external payload, and boast a substantial 6,500 kg of internal fuel.
  • Government Funding and Production: In 2009, the Central government allocated ₹90 crore for a feasibility study, with an additional ₹447 crore sanctioned later. Production is underway by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
  • The first prototype is expected by: 2028-29.
  • Two Phases of AMCA: MK1 with the General Electric F414 engine and a Mk2 with a more powerful engine.
  • Features of AMCA
  • Stealth Capabilities: Equipped with advanced stealth features to evade enemy radar detection, surpassing the size of existing Indian Air Force fighters.
  • Fuel and Weapons Configuration: Equipped with a concealed 6.5-tonne internal fuel tank and an internal weapons bay for a variety of weapons, including indigenous ones.
  • Engine Specifications: The AMCA Mk1 variant will use the US-built GE414 engine, while the more advanced Mk2 will feature a 110kN engine developed indigenously by DRDO’s Gas Turbine Research Establishment.
  • Advanced Airflow Control: Features like a diverterless supersonic inlet and a serpentine air intake duct contribute to controlling air flow into the engines and shielding them from radar emissions.

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