Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, a subsidiary of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, has begun production of the fifth-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft. The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), which is part of the Defence Research and Development Organisation, designed the plane. In a tweet on March 9, the DRDO stated:
“The manufacture of the Leading Edge of AMCA began at HAL with specific material for 5th gen design based on the design of ADA and DRDO. Before being installed on the first prototype, the unit will be subjected to structural and other tests. AMCA has reached a critical juncture.”
In 2010, the feasibility studies for the design and development of AMCA were approved. Over the years, the design has gone through several changes and tests. It was originally planned to build two technology demonstrators.
In 2018, the demonstrators received government approval. However, the focus was later switched to developing a working aircraft powered by the GE F414-INS6 engine. While the preliminary design assessment of the aircraft is complete, the critical design review is expected to be finished this year.
The aircraft would be capable of two configurations: stealth and non-stealth. The stealth version would be capable of carrying a 1500 kg internal payload, while the non-stealth version would be capable of carrying up to 5000 kg externally.
The twin-engine aircraft will be powered by a 110kN Indian engine, which is currently being developed. AMCA Mk2 will be the name of this variant. The engine would be built with the help of a foreign company, most likely Safran of France. Rolls-Royce has also expressed interest in collaborating on an engine.
Meanwhile, on March 17, defence minister Rajnath Singh opened a seven-story Flight Control System (FCS) integration building at DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE). This 45-day-built facility will be utilised to build avionics for fighter planes like the AMCA and other aerial vehicles. The procedure for securing Cabinet Committee on Security permission for the design and prototype development of Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) was started on 14 March, according to the Ministry of Defence.
In 2018, VEM Technologies was given a contract to build a full-scale model. AMCA would be manufactured by forming a “special purpose vehicle” with HAL and the commercial sector as partners.