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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

IAF and ADA have confirmed that India’s first 5th generation AMCA fighter jet will come in Mark-1 and Mark-2 configuration with 40 jets to come in Mark-1 to be configured with F414-INS6 engines which generate 98kN Class of Wet Thrust which will also power Tejas Mk2 jet and also Carrier based TEDBF jet but GE’s plans to offer its F414 Enhanced Engine with uprated Class of Wet Thrust to India for AMCA Mark-2 could be turned down even if GE agrees for full Transfer of Technology (ToT) as demanded by India for local manufacturing of India in a Joint venture setup, as planners are now considering much more advance engines options for the AMCA Mark-2 fighter jet.

Reliable sources close to idrw.org for the first time has confirmed that any variants of F414 or EJ-200 engines will simply not be acceptable for the IAF since these engines were never developed keeping in mind the reduced thermal signature technology required for Stealth fighter jets in the rear end and nor can be classified as to be used for 5.5 Generation AMCA which India plans for its Mark-2 version.

5.5 Generation AMCA will require an engine that is not only equipped with next-generation but also radical state-of-the-art jet engine technology that has future growth potential for usage on 6th generation Manned and Unammned programs. Thermal Management System and Increased electrical power generation capability coupled with an intelligent power management system with usage of advanced composite materials are some of the technologies which IAF/ADA are considering and this simply can’t come from existing engines which were conceived nearly 20-25 years back even if upgraded with newer technologies since many of new features require many deep core modifications which are simply not possible.

AMCA Mark-1 will be 5th generation aircraft that will carry many new technologies that are usually classified for a 5th Generation fighter jet aircraft like frontal stealth characters, DSI intakes, 360° multi-spectrum sensors, and next-generation AESA Fire control Radar and EW technology. Since India is little late to join the 5th Generation fighter jet bandwagon, when other countries are already planning for 6th generation fighter jets post-2030, IAF and ADA have decided to incorporate many new features of the 6th generation fighter jets in AMCA Mark-2 when it enters production in 2035.

AMCA Mark-2 will be classified as a 5.5th Generation aircraft not only because of new engines nor because it will have Basic 5th Generation technology but it has been planned to feature some of the 6th generation technology which most countries are currently planning which includes directed-energy weapons and Distributed Aperture Sensor (DAS) and host of new features which are under development like Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System will help regain control of the aircraft in case the pilot loses consciousness or is incapacitated. A helmet-mounted sensor will alert ground control, which will be able to take over the aircraft’s controls to safely land the aircraft which ADA called “Artificial intelligence-based application”.

India is also in talks with Rolls-Royce which previously worked with GE for the development of the F136 engine for F-35 which is now powered by the F135 engine which was developed by Pratt & Whitney. Rolls-Royce has promised to jointly develop a new engine that is not based on the EJ-200 engine which powers Eurofighter Typhoon but has remained mum if it will be based on technology developed for the now-abandoned F136 engine for the F-35 program. Rolls-Royce already is working on a new engine to power the BAE lead Tempest 6th gen fighter jet program which will have its planned flight in 2030 and induction post-2040.

Rolls-Royce has promised India full Intellectual property rights (IPRs) for the proposed engine and full Transfer of Technology (ToT) for the proposed joint venture engine for the AMCA Mark-2 but as per information provided to idrw.org, India will need to spend nearly $2.5 to $3 Billion in initial investment for Prototypes and ground/flight trials of the new engines plus manufacturing and procurement cost besides. but India will get an engine that is future-ready not only for AMCA Mark-2 but also for what will come out after the AMCA program in 2040.

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