IAF not in favour of acquiring Russian 5th gen jets, keen on DRDO’s AMCA

Source:-IAF not in favour of acquiring Russian 5th gen jets, keen on DRDO’s AMCA

It seems that the Indian Air Force (IAF) is not in favour of acquiring the 127 fifth-generation fighter aircraft from Russia due to the “very high cost” involved in the project. It in turn wants to back a DRDO Make in India project – which it is planning to develop a similar plane called Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).

It is learnt that IAF’s views on the aircraft programme have been conveyed to the defence ministry even as a government panel has expressed its views in favour of the programme.

“The Air Force has its reservations on the programme mainly on three points. First, the project cost is too high and way beyond what it had expected. The learning curve is not there as the project is already at an advanced stage and the stealth technology of the planes is not as advanced as that of the other similar planes,” senior government sources told Mail Today.


The maintenance cost of the planes is also expected to be very high and similar to that of the Sukhoi-30 planes whose maintenance and upkeep has been quite demanding in their around 20 years in the force, they said.

The Russians were developing the aircraft known as PAKFA on their side as a counter to the American F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightening, which are considered the latest combat planes with stealth technologies and abilities to strike farther than their older counterparts.

“The cost of the FGFA progarmme is coming to be huge. While we have already spent close to $300 million (Rs 2,000 crore) on the preliminary design phase, the Russians are demanding $6.7 billion (Rs 44,800 crore) as the development cost of the planes which is coming to be much higher than what we had perceived,” the sources revealed.


“The Russians are asking us to make big investments in the programme. While we are planning to induct only 12 of these planes in their IAF, they are asking India to buy 127 of these aircraft,” added the sources.

Sources said the investment of $6.7 billion (Rs 44,800 crore) would give India only four prototypes of the FGFA aircraft and it will have to pay another $135 million (Rs 900 crore) each for the 127 planes, which would be ready for induction only after 2027-28.

The cost per aircraft at the time of delivery in 2027-28, due to high inflation in defence deals, would come around $250 million bringing the total project value to around $32 billion (Rs 2 lakh crore), sources also said.

Air Marshal S Varthman committee has recommended that the IAF should go ahead to coproduce the planes with Russia and the Defence ministry has to decide on it taking into account both the viewpoints.



Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) is an Indian programme of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft. It is being developed by an aerospace industry team which consist of Aeronautical Development Agency as a design firm and to be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It is a single-seat, twin-engine, stealth supermaneuverable all weather multirole fighter aircraft. Unofficial design work on the AMCA started in 2008 with official work started in 2011 and completed in 2014. In 2008 Indian Navy joined the programme for the naval variant optimized for the aircraft carriers operation. The first flight is scheduled to occur in 2023–2024.

It is a multirole combat aircraft designed for the air superiority, ground attack, bombing, intercepting, Strike and other types of roles. It combines supercruise, stealth, AESA radar, maneuverability, and advanced avionics to overcome and suppress previous generation fighter aircraft along with many ground and maritime defences.

The broad requirements outlined for the AMCA are to incorporate a high degree of stealth, a high internal and external weapons payload, high internal fuel capacity, and the ability to swing from an air-to-air role to air-to-ground. It is also expected to have the ability to super cruise. This allows the aircraft to travel at supersonic speeds with greater endurance as the afterburners do not have to be used with the additional fuel usage. Even though future air combat has been envisaged as being beyond visual range excluding the likelihood of aerial dogfights as before, the AMCA is expected to sport a thrust vectoring engine. The ADA is designed the AMCA as a platform with high survivability, to meet the challenges of future air defense environments through a combination of moderate stealth, electronic warfare capability, sensors and kinetic performance. The design philosophy seeks to balance aerodynamics and stealth capabilities.

The aircraft will have a weight of 16-18 tons. 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.

Currently more than 4000 employers assigned into the AMCA project,where they extracted from ADA, DRDO, HAL and some other leading private companies. The AMCA team identified three major technical works. Which are Thrust vectoring, super cruise Engines, Active radar’s and other processing system and the radar absorbent material.







Source:- India Today

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