India is working hard on the first flight of its own fifth-generation fighter jet
NEW DELHI, (BM) – The Indian media reported that the country’s military-industrial complex has increased the intensity of work on the promising fifth-generation AMCA fighter, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
It should be noted that earlier New Delhi abandoned a joint program with Russia to develop an aircraft and launched its own.
In particular, it was reported that the Indian side was unhappy with the lack of stealth technology and previous generation engines. As a result, it was announced about independent work on a promising machine.
It is reported that the first flight of the aircraft has already been announced for 2024. The fighter is planned to be put into service by 2029, and by the 36th year, India is planning to release a modernized version of the combat vehicle.
Many experts were skeptical about the Indian plans and expressed the opinion that by abandoning the joint program with Russia, India itself threw itself away from receiving new aircraft for several years.
India began the project in 2018 and had expected its first flight in 2032
The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft [AMCA], the next generation Indian fighter, is expected to make its maiden flight in 2032, as BulgarianMilitary.com reported back in 2018.
“AMCA will have geometry-assured invisibility (geometric stealth) and will fly with two GE-414 engines in the first phase. Once we develop our own engine, it can be replaced. We expect the first flight in 2032,” the Defense Ministry source then said.
“There are two main ways to increase the secrecy of the military platform. One is geometric stealth and the other is a special coating. With geometric invisibility, the shape of the aircraft is designed at angles that maximize the deflection of radar waves, thereby minimizing its visibility to radar. Stealth materials on aircraft absorb radar waves, reducing the detection range. Initially AMCA will be designed for geometric stealth, at a later stage we can add stealth materials,” also he said.
The Indian Air Force has provided the territory of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO ) to create the infrastructure for this project.
It is planned to make maximum use of the results and experience gained during the development of light combat aircraft (LCA ) in the development of a fifth generation medium fighter.
“In addition to the technologies developed under the LCA project, the new fighter program will allow implementation and application of technologies on both the LCA and the AMCA project,” said another official source.
The aircraft will have the same GE-414 engine as the LCA Mk-2, which is in the design phase. The GE-414 delivers 98 kN thrust compared to the 84 kN thrust of the GE-404 engine used on the LCA Mk1.
At Aero India 2016, DRDO officials said that the project was frozen in base configuration after wind tunnel tests, as three critical technologies need to be developed – stealth, thrust vector control and supersonic speed without using an afterburner.
This is the only Indian fifth generation aircraft program after refusing to participate in a fifth generation fighter project with Russia.
India is not limited its job only to this fighter jet.
India is determined to gradually reduce its dependence on Russian fighter jets and on Russia as a major supplier of air weapons technology over the next decade.
Only three days ago it was announced that by 2026, the Indian company Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd should develop a twin-engine jet carrier-based fighter to supplement or even replace the Russian MiG-29K in the Indian Navy.
Recall that now the Indian Navy has the only aircraft carrier – Vikramaditya (formerly the Soviet aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov, which underwent modernization after the sale to India).
In addition, at the Cochin Shipyard Ltd, the construction of the first aircraft carrier of its own Indian design, “Vikrant”, continues, but the start of its tests has been repeatedly postponed.
Nevertheless, the Indian naval command does not lose hope that in the coming years the fleet will still be able to have two aircraft carriers. Meanwhile, the naval aviation includes 45 Russian MiG-29K fighters, which replaced the British Sea Harrier aircraft in 2016.
Navy officials say that this number is not enough to form air links on both the Vikramaditya and Vikranta. Earlier, an option was considered with the purchase of American F / A-18E / F “Super Hornet” or French “Rafale-M”.
Details on the technical characteristics of the new aircraft have not yet been disclosed.
Note that since 2019, India has been testing a carrier-based version of the Tejas fighter of its own design (Tejas, Brilliant), but this is a light single-engine aircraft. The fighter is armed with one 23 mm cannon and equipped with eight suspension points for bombs and missiles with a total weight of 3.5 tons.
The deck version is distinguished by a two-seater cockpit, reinforced landing gear struts and the presence of a landing hook, with the help of which it engages with the air arrestor.
India expects more Rafale fighter jets from Frnace
Indian sources claim that France will speed up supplies and instead of 4 planes will send 6 fighters. So far, the Indian Air Force has 4 Rafale fighters.
Recall that in September 2016, India agreed with France on the supply of 36 aircraft of this type. The order amount is $ 6.5 billion.
According to the original schedule, the French should deliver 18 aircraft to India by February 2021. Then, in April-May 2022, India should receive the rest of the shipment.
Within just two month, the delivery of the French fighters was obscure and dangerous for the Indian Air Force.
As we reported in March 2020 the delivery of the first four Rafale fighters to India, scheduled for May, may be delayed. Then, New Delhi expected Paris to respond when it plans to fly, but there were indications that the coronavirus spread situation may change these plans.
Then, the Indian Covernment expected the new fighters to land in India in the last week of May, but the Indian Air Force command did not yet received confirmation from Dassault Aviation.
Ambala Air Force Base was geared up for the new fighter armament ceremony. Even then it was known that they would be part of the 17th Golden Arrows. The second Rafale squadron will be deployed at Hasimira Air Base in West Bengal to counter the threat posed by China.
But, on May 24 the French side announced that will deliver Rafale military aircraft to India without delay. This information came from the French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain.
The Ambassador of France noted that there is no reason for concern about the delivery of aircraft, because France strictly complies with the deadlines for the supply of fighter jets.
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