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Aero India 2023

CCS clears Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft project


A file photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): In a significant move, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Thursday cleared a proposal to indigenously design and develop a fifth generation deep penetration Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) in line with futuristic requirement of the Indian Air Force, people familiar with the matter said.

It is learnt that the CCS also accorded in-principle approval to procure 34 Dhruv advanced light helicopters for the Coast Guard and the Indian Army.

The people described the go ahead for the AMCA project as very crucial.

India has been working on the ambitious AMCA project to develop the medium weight deep penetration fighter jet with advanced stealth features to bolster its air power capability.

The initial development cost of the project has been estimated at around Rs 15,000 crore.

Only a very few select countries in the world such as the US, Russia and China have fifth-generation stealth fighter jets.

Under the plan, five prototypes of the AMCA will jointly be built by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with support from private industries.

The IAF has been pushing for the AMCA project in view of its long-term requirement.

India's confidence in the development of the AMCA saw a significant jump after the development of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas.

Manufactured by state-run aerospace behemoth HAL, the Tejas aircraft is a potent platform for air combat and offensive air support missions while reconnaissance and anti-ship operations are its secondary roles.

The IAF is also in the process of procuring 114 Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA).

In April 2019, the IAF issued an RFI (Request for Information), or initial tender, to acquire 114 jets at a cost of around USD 18 billion. It was billed as one of the world's biggest military procurement programmes in recent years.

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