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India approves fifth-generation AMCA fighter project

India's Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft programme began in 2008 and is intended to produce aircraft for induction into the Indian Air Force by 2030. Data shows that the fifth-generation fighter aircraft requires about two decades of development before entering service. (Janes)

Development of India's Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) fifth-generation fighter aircraft programme is expected to accelerate in 2024 following New Delhi's approval of the design and prototype programme, according to a project official.

The official, a member of India's Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), confirmed to Janes that the Indian government's Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved the project on 7 March. The approval allows funding of up to INR150 trillion (USD1.8 billion) to be disbursed to the programme.

The ADA, which is a lab of India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has been developing the AMCA since 2008. The prototypes will be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Janes understands that the ADA/HAL project team will initiate activities for the prototyping of the aircraft.

โ€œWith the approval of the programme, multiple activities will start simultaneously to support prototype development,โ€ the official told Janes on 9 March. โ€œOur objective is to produce five prototypes within four-and-a-half years and five years, by 2028โ€“2029. That is our timeline.โ€

Consequently, the source said that all initial development-related activities have priority. โ€œWe expect 2024 to be a hectic year for prototyping activities,โ€ the official added. โ€œHAL could start metal cutting for the prototypes in six months. Other activities such as setting up the jigs and assembly line will also start. We will also start the process of setting up the supply chain for the programme.โ€

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