The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), an autonomous body under the department of defence research and development, Ministry of Defence, is seeking a $2-billion (approximately Rs 9,060 crore) fund for the development of the advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA).
“We have just started working on this fifth-generation aircraft, for which we had already received sanctions to the tune of Rs 100 crore. The way the government is cooperating, I am able to say that we will receive the funding ($2 billion) in the next 18 months,” PS Subramanyam, programme director (combat aircraft) and director of ADA, told Business Standard.
The AMCA will be designed with a small radar cross-section and will feature internal weapons and advanced electronic systems. The twin-engined, stealth-multirole fighter will be equipped with missiles like the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)’s Astra, besides stand-off and precision weapons.
“The $2-billion fund will initially be utilised to develop two technology demonstrators and seven prototypes. The first flight test is expected to take place by 2017,” he said on the sidelines of the Aviation Conclave 2010, which concluded here on Saturday.
Stating that the AMCAs were aimed at bridging the gap between light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas and Sukhoi heavy weight fighters, Subramanyam said though Russia and the United States were into designing of similar aircraft that weigh 30-35 tonne, the AMCA would weigh only 20 tonne.
“Though the AMCAs were primarily being designed to meet the requirements of the Indian Air Force, we are contemplating rolling out a new variant for the Indian Navy as well,” he said, adding ADA would commence research and development on the six-generation AMCA aircraft shortly.