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Thursday, January 31, 2013

EXPRESS EXCLUSIVE | India’s stealth fighter dream takes shape in Bangalore | AMCA configuration in final stages | Catch the 1:8 scale model at Aero India


The CAD images of India’s stealth fighter AMCA.

By Anantha Krishnan M

Express News Service

Bangalore: Twelve years after India finally shown the courage to take a home-grown combat fighter for its maiden flight in Bangalore, scientists at the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in Vimanapura, near Old Airport, are ready to unleash the next big desi dream called, the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA). Military sources confirm to Express that the configuration of AMCA has reached the final stages. At the biennial carnival of the flying machines, set to begin at Yelahanka Air Force Station next week, India will for the first time showcase a 1:8 model of the AMCA, revealing some of its capabilities via super-graphics.
The AMCA project, kept completely under wraps in the last couple of years, will be officially India’s maiden foray into a stealth programme. The Doubting Thomas might have eyebrows up hearing the AMCA news, considering the Light Combat Programme (LCA) Tejas still has to travel some distance before the Indian Air Force (IAF) finally accepts it.
The AMCA, being tipped as the next generation multirole combat aircraft, is designed to meet the needs of the IAF. It is conceived in the medium weight category, with twin engine. “We have reached some level of technology maturity now with the help of DRDO and CSIR labs, in addition to some select-private companies. A new technology is onboard for weapon release, considering AMCA will have an internal weapon bay,” sources said. Understandably, when operational, the AMCA design will ensure that it ducks enemy radars, thanks to its low-signature patterns.
The shape of the aircraft is what makes AMCA different. Along with its modern air intake features, new materials, pilot comfort and the ergonomic cockpit design, scientists claim that the aircraft will have good capability to carry out air-to-air missions required for air superiority, which includes point defence, area defence and escort. “As a multi-role fighter, the aircraft will also have adequate strike capability with emphasis on critical opening day missions like SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defense), DEAD (Destruction of Enemy Air Defense) and precision strike,” sources said.
Currently the scientists are engaged in various scale model tests for the configuration of the design. With an initial government funding sanctioned in 2011 for a feasibility study, sources say that in the next few months a feasible design of AMCA should be out. Currently, a small team of scientists at ADA is concentrating on the design. The expected maiden flight should be by the end of the decade.
Tomorrow: Features, capabilities and technologies

Copyright@The New Indian Express

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