The Indian Air Force (IAF) is working feverishly with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the Aeronautical Development Agency to develop the indigenous Advanced Multirole Combat Aircraft (AMCA).
The modular design of the fifth-generation twin-engine single-seat aircraft is said to be finalised.
‘That is what we are putting our energies into,’ ACM Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria said recently. More than most of his predecessors, Bhadauria has supported the need to focus on indigenous design and manufacturing.
Six squadrons of AMCAs are planned initially. The first flight is expected in 2024-25, followed by trials and tests. It will be in full production by 2029, to be followed by the Mk2 version by 2036.
Amid the ‘Make in India’ mantra, HAL could soon announce a JV along with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and a private company to progress the AMCA programme.