Military


Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft /
Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA)

India's Hindustan Aeronatics Limited (HAL) is to build the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), a derivative of the Sukhoi T-50, in India. In 2007 Russia and India signed an agreement on joint development of fifth generation fighter FGFA (Fifth-Generation Fighting Aircraft), based on the Russian Sukhoi PAK FA (PAK FA). It is expected that the launch customer for the aircraft will be Indian Air Force, and later it would be delivered to third countries.

The Medium Combat Aircraft [MCA] was envisioned as a replacement for the British Jaguar and Mirage 2000 the IAF flies, which as of 2002 were to be phased out by 2015. Development costs were expected to be over US$2 billion. As of mid-1997 the MCA design concept had no vertical stabilizer and employed an advanced flight control system coupled to axisymetric nozzles. At that time, India's DRDO intended to develop a stealthy Medium Combat Aircraft, a further extension of its LCA design, in order to replace the Jaguar and Mirage inventory beginning around 2010. The twin engined aircraft was planned to have a thrust ratio of 7:8:1, and GE, SNECMA, and Klimov all offered to provide the engines for this aircraft.

In June 2001, India was offered 'joint development and production' of a new 5th generation fighter by Russia. Russia had been trying to sell this concept both to China and India for some time, but this time it was made directly to India's Defense Minister. The Russian Perspektivnyi Aviatsionnyi Kompleks Frontovoi Aviatsyi (PAK FA), which means 'Future Air Complex for Tactical Air Forces'. It is intended to be the same size as the US JSF but have a mission profile closer to the F-22 Raptor, with air superiority being the primary mission and ground attack and reconnaissance being secondary. In November 2001, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister, Ilya Klebanov's announced that India and Russia had agreed to jointly develop a fifth-generation strike aircraft. This was the result of a four-day visit to Russia by India's Prime Minister.

The Indian fighter jet will be based on the Russian single-seat Sukhoi T-50 or PAK-FA fifth-generation fighter, which had four prototypes flying, but it would be designed to meet about 50 specific requirements by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

India wanted to produce some of the aircraft's computers, software, guidance systems and other systems, as it did for a similar project with Russia producing a locally-made variant of the Sukhoi Su-30MKI strike aircraft. Russia would provide the aircraft's Saturn 117S engines and some stealth technology elements for the plane.

Representations of the fighter changed often in recent years. The twin-engine, stealthy, multirole fighter was first unveiled at the Aero India show in 2009, in the form of a metal wind-tunnel model. At the show in 2011, a reshaped model revealed an F-22-like appearance. India unveiled an updated design for its Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) with a 1:8-scale model of the concept displayed at Aero India 2013 show in Bengaluru, said to be the final configuration and the one with which the program will proceed.

The design the the concept designers put out in 2013 was strongly reminiscent of the Northrop Grumman YF-23 prototype that lost the Advanced Tactical Fighter competition to the Lockheed YF-22 in 1991 in what became the F-22 program. The AMCA's fuselage was stretched, with symmetric trapezoidal wings, notably losing the leading-edge extensions that were once part of the design. The aircraft had an internal weapons bay and fully indigenous stealth technologies now under development, including radar-absorbent paint and composites.





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