Indian Defence Technology & Infrastructure has grown many folds in the last 3 decades. The main reason why it took so much time for the Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas) to reach maturity was the fact that India never had a advanced aerospace industry within the country.
Tejas programme might have suffered delays and cost overruns but it has helped India in building the infrastructure of the aerospace industry and gaining the technical knowledge of such a complex machine, which would become the base for the future aerospace industry of India.
Several Indian companies are involved in the production of Tejas and more than 60% of the components used in the HAL Tejas MK-I are indigenous. The aircraft’s indigenous content will not only go up with time as the infrastructure grows and matures but also these companies can gradually become global suppliers.
The HAL Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) is an Indian fifth-generation fighter aircraft programme. It is very critical for India to continue with the development of this fighter immediately to solidify and expand the aerospace technology procured through the LCA Program.
AMCA will help India in gaining self reliance in the field of fighter aircraft and can also be modified as per the requirements of IAF. Contrary to what critics say, LCA programme has undoubtedly laid the foundation for the development of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft.
The LCA programme has moved to the production line and its time for India to focus on the AMCA development and get the first prototype as soon as possible utilising the critical technologies developed at ADA ( Aeronautical Development Agency ) for Tejas.
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It’s time that the Indian government sanction the required funds for the development of the AMCA fighter. Although, India does not have all the critical technologies to develop a Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft and it will require a mammoth effort from agencies like DRDO, ADA and HAL to make this project successful and on time.
HAL & DRDO would also need the backing of IAF in building the AMCA since it would reduce dependency on imports and will give IAF a fighter which is indigenous and can be modified as per their requirements. Apart from AMCA, HAL & DRDO are also working on many indigenous projects like Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), NETRA (AEWC ) & Trainer Aircraft. All these projects once completed will make IAF strong & self reliant and will also boost the Indian economy.