AMCA is one of the most awaited fighter programs in the country. Initially conceptualized as a fifth-generation fighter, the program has been upgraded to a 5.5 generation program including next-generation avionics, stealth, and weapons. It is also reported that AMCA will have swam drone capabilities too with advanced AI features pushing it toward 5.5 Generation capabilities.
Recently in an interview, it has been revealed by Dr. Girish Dheodhare, program director (combat aircraft) of Aeronautical Development Agency, This fighter jet will be “One of Its Kind”. Dr. Dheodhare has also provided a lot of details about how these fighter jets will look like.
Dr. Girish revealed that the designed has been frozen and the project has entered detail design phase and realizations of various LRUs has started. He also revealed that a lot of LRUs of AMCA and Tejas Mk2 are common and they only need to be upgraded to meet the requirements of AMCA.
The Tejas MK 2 program will be a 4.5 Generation fighter jet but the LRUs used in this fighter jet will be next generation units. These units can be upgraded further for their application in AMCA.
The actuator design of the AMCA has already started and the air force has frozen its requirements. Timeline for MK2 has also been revealed. The aircraft will be rolled out by 2024. It was also revealed that NAL is working on the wind tunnel testing of the models and the structural parts are being designed by NAL, HAL and other agencies.
During Aero India 2018, a video on AMCA was released. This video had a sneek peek on aircraft design, shaping and RCS (Radar Cross-section Area) testing. During this video ground test of Internal weapons bay was also witnessed.
In a recent interview Dr. Girish told that the scientists and engineers now have a good idea about the designs and the materials that are to be used. A full-scale model is in the advanced stages of construction for testing the stealth characteristics, by a Hyderabad based company and the model is expected to come out shortly.
Important details have been revealed about the intakes too. Now AMCA employees DSI intakes (Diverter-less supersonic Intakes) and the future programs will also have DSI intakes.
DSI Air Intake:
Aircraft air intake plays a vital role in the overall performance of the aircraft. The purpose of intake is to provide less turbulent, smooth, and subsonic flow to the engine. A good intake is characterized by maximum pressure recovery for a wide range of operating conditions. A slight improvement in pressure recovery may result in a significant gain in terms of engine thrust. Additionally, an efficient intake is also expected to supply a uniform and distortion-free flow to the compressor. The amount of distortion present in the flow is characterized by the distortion index which gives a view of how uniform is the distribution of flow at the engine face plane in terms of total pressure. The low value of the distortion index is an indicator of a smooth flow. Another important aspect associated with the air inlets of supersonic aircraft is the diversion of the low energy boundary layer away from the intake mouth. One special kind of such air intake is the Diverterless Supersonic Inlet (DSI). It employs a generic bump with a forward-swept cowl to divert the boundary layer away from the intake. This combination of the bump and cowl also decelerates the flow from supersonic to the subsonic regime.
Along with these, it is also confirmed that AMCA will get a retractable refueling probe. At the Aero India show, ADA is going to show the latest and the final model along with the mock-up of the advanced cockpit of the AMCA. Private companies too are taking part in the design of the aircraft and this will be a ONE OF A KIND program in Indian aerospace history. Scientists and engineers are very confident that they will hit the deadlines this time and let’s hope they hit the deadlines and we will see AMCA flying in tricolors on time.