5th generation AMCA on backburner

By SP's Special Correspondent August 19, 2014

The Aeronautical Development Agency's concept Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), a stealth fifth generation concept, could be placed on the backburner with the Indian Air Force, HAL and DRDO deciding to bring to bear the full might of their resources on the LCA Mk.2, the variant of the indigenous aircraft that will see combat service, unlike the 40 Mk.1s. It has become increasingly clear that two squadrons of LCA Mk.1s will be employed as advanced/lead-in jet trainers, a psychological blow to the programme, but a practical one according to the IAF, which only sees operational sense in looking more closely at the Mk.2, powered by an F414 engine. The IAF has also sent out a strong message to HAL to focus strongly on the FGFA, rather than get roped into fabrication work on the AMCA programme. Sukhoi has begun front-end engineering work on a prototype of the PAK FA that will finally derive down to the configuration that the Indian version, the Prospective Multirole Fighter (PMF), will be.