Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

The Indian Air Force is one of the most advanced defence forces in the world with a fleet that can put any country to shame. IAF has the most advanced fighter jet fleet in the region and also in the world. However, India still lacks a 5th Gen fighter jet, which is considered the most advanced fighter jet in the world and only a few countries in the world has this type of aircraft. To give an insight, the United States has Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II, while China has Chengdu J-20 and Russia has Sukhoi Su-57. These are the only three countries with the advanced 5th generation fighter jet. On the other hand, India is readying its Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) programme to rival these nations. 

Former Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria announced that the development of 5th Generation advanced multi-role combat aircraft has been launched. Recently a tweet revealed the wind tunnel model of the AMCA, highlighting the design of the fighter jet. As seen in the image, the jet will get a dual engine configuration.

IAF’s most advanced fighter jet

If we see the current fleet of the Indian Air Force, India has mostly foreign-sourced fighter jets, leaving aside HAL-made Tejas LCA, that will serve as the first line of defence for India and will replace the ageing MiG-21 Bison. However, among the most advanced planes with the IAF is the French-made Dassault Rafale, which is a 4.5 Gen plane at best. While India can get the Russia-made Sukhoi Su-57 as its most advanced fighter jet, IAF has pitched strongly for an indigenous weapons platforms and will rely on the supersonic AMCA, being developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

AMCA Wind Tunnel model

As seen in the Twitter image, the prime features are the Diverterless Supersonic Inlet (DSI) and a 3D ‘bump’ that prevent radar waves from bouncing off the engine blades/turbines, making it a Stealth jet. The jet is seen sporting an Infrared Search and Track (IRST) above the nose cone along with an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, used to enhance medium and long-range detection of targets.

India-made 5th Gen Fighter Jet

The AMCA will be IAF’s backbone in the coming decades, and the Indian Air Force is not looking to induct a foreign-made 5th Gen jet till the AMCA is made. A naval version of the 5th Generation fighter will also be developed for Indian Navy. The aircraft will have a high degree of stealth, ability to carry weapons internally as well as externally, internal fuel capacity, super cruise and perform the role of both air-to-air to air-to-ground attacks. With the AMCA will primarily engage targets at beyond visual range, it will also have a powerful thrust vectoring engine for super manoeuvrability for better dogfighting capabilities.

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