Thursday, April 22, 2010

India Develops Requirements For Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft


Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Apr 22 , 2010 , p. 13
Neelam Mathews

NEW DELHI — India’s Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) is evaluating Indian air force requirements for the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).

The weight of the AMCA will not exceed 25 tons. The twin-engine configured aircraft will have a higher thrust being in the bigger weight category than the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.

The Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO) had announced earlier this year that the AMCA program would be launched in 2010. While unofficially work has started on the design, according to an official, the AMCA will be officially announced in 6-8 months. “There is nothing official about it … It is currently not a sanctioned project from the government. We are looking at the technical requirements submitted by the Indian air force,” the official told Aerospace DAILY.

The AMCA was earlier called the Medium Combat Aircraft. “This [AMCA] is very different from the design of the MCA,” an official says.

The Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) that India is currently evaluating bids for is a 4.5-generation aircraft, an official says. “None of the contenders fall in the stealth configuration, which is the most important consideration for the AMCA.”

India hopes to develop stealth technologies indigenously. “We are looking at stealth features even for the LCA,” the official says. “We believe it can be developed here.”

Not having chosen an engine as yet, it is likely that the Kaveri Mk-2 currently being developed by the Snecma and Gas Turbine Research Establishment will be used for the AMCA.

Kaveri was first conceived as an engine for the LCA developed by ADA. The LCA is currently powered by General Electric-404 engines with technical evaluations ongoing for a bid for 99 engines. The contenders are the F-414 and EJ-200.

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