AMCA – Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft

Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) is a programme for fifth generation fighter aircraft. It is being developed by team of ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) as a design firm and HAL . In this article we will study all about the AMCA in detail.

So let's begin

It is a twin-engine, single-seat, stealth all weather multi-role aircraft designed for the air superiority, ground attack, bombing, intercepting and all other type of roles. Unofficial design work on the AMCA was started in 2008 with official work started in 2011 and completed in 2014.

In 2008 Indian Navy also joined the programme for the naval variant optimized for its aircraft carrier operations. The first flight is scheduled to occur in 2023-2024.

Airframe

  • AMCA will use carbon fiber composite (CFC) and titanium alloy for its construction.
  • It would use 80% of CFC of its airframe by weight including in the fuselage, wings, elevons, tail fin, rudder, air brakes and landing gear doors.
  • To increase the aircraft reliability and lower its susceptibility to structural fatigue and cracks very few joints and rivets are used.
  • The aircraft will be the first mass-produced aircraft to include structural nano composites, namely carbon nano tube reinforced epoxy.

Engine

There are three countries which are trying to seal the AMCA engine development program which are US, France and England are offering their known engine companies like General Electric, Snecma and Rolls Royce respectively.

GE from America offered engine development based on the F 414 engine, and the Snecma announced the M 88 engine who powers the Rafale and the Rolls Royce also offered the EJ 200 engine for joint development with Kaveri.

As per the reports US company General Electric is leading in the program who is already supplying GE F404 engines for LCA Tejas. GE also set ups manufacturing plants in India to produce aviation engines in India.

Stealth

  • AMCA has a very small radar cross section and will also have serpentine like air intakes, internal arsenal to enhance its stealth feature.
  • The design will be supplemented through radar absorbing composites as well as paints.
  • AMCA also optimized to reduce acoustic signature as well as reduced visibility to the naked eye.

Radar

The AMCA will have new generation GaN (Gallium Nitride) based AESA for superior detection and performance.The use of GaN will give significant benefits of power density, efficiency, and bandwidth to AMCA.

Furthermore the use of GaN will solve substantial system-related issues, such as the need for higher operating voltages, more efficient heat removal techniques, and high reliability.

The under developed Uttam radar for LCA Tejas is not compatible for AMCA. It is a GaAs ( Gallium arsenide ) based radar. India and Israel are jointly working on GaN based radars for advanced fighter jets.

Armaments

  • It includes 23 mm GsH-23 cannon gun and 8 hard points in stealthy configuration and 12 hard points in non-stealth configuration.
  • AMCA is mounted with Astra missile for beyond visual range combat, Python-5 for all short range aspects and Vympel R-73.
  • It would also carry Brahmos missile.

The aircraft will have a weight of 16-18 tons with 2-tons of internal weapons and 4-tons of internal fuel. Combat ceiling will be 15-km, max speed of 1.8-Mach at 11-km. The AMCA will be powered by 2 x 90KN engines with vectored nozzles.

More than 4000 employers from ADA, HAL, DRDO and other private companies are working in AMCA project. Let's hope that this project will be completed as per the deadlines and our armed forces will get another boost in its capabilities.

So this was it

Stay tuned to DDE for more such articles and blogs.

Jai Hind

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