Two ‘next generation technology demonstrators’ (NGTD) of the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), being developed by Aeronautics Development Agency (ADA) as India’s next generation fighter, are expected to make their first flight by 2032. According to officials familiar with the development in Bangalore, “The AMCA will feature geometric stealth and will initially fly with two GE-414 engines.

Once we develop our own engines, it can be replaced with those…” Amplifying, the AMCA designer said, “There are two major ways of making a military platform stealthier. One is geometric stealth and other is material stealth. In geometric stealth, the shape of the aircraft is designed at such angles so as to deflect away maximum radar waves thereby minimising its radar cross section. In material stealth, radar-absorbing materials are used in making the aircraft which will absorb the radio waves thus reducing the radar footprint.

The AMCA will initially be based on geometric stealth, we can look at material stealth at a later stage. Apart from the technologies developed from the LCA project, the new fighter program is important as technologies now being demonstrated will be applicable to the AMCA project.” It is learnt that the NGTDs are being built by a consortium which includes private industry at a new facility at Salur, near Coimbatore, where the Indian Air Force has given land to the DRDO. “The plan is to build on the capabilities and expertise developed during the development of the light combat aircraft (LCA) and produce a medium fifth generation fighter aircraft”.

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