SOURCE: SATYAJEET KUMAR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
With recent statement made by CDS Rawat about IAF planning to go Local for its fighter requirements, It is estimated that India will save nearly 30$ Billions in cost to set up a local production line and in procurement cost for the winning candidate coming out of the MMRCA Tender for the purchase of 114 fighter jets with Transfer of Technology (TOT) along with a need to set up a local supply line for the spares and support once these jets are inducted in the airforce fleet.
IAF is already committed to the development of the newer and bigger Tejas Mk2 which is also known as Medium Weight Fighter in the Indian defense circle due to its 17.5-tonne Take of weight which puts it in the same weight class category as other Medium Weight Fighters. ADA which is a nodal design agency for the Tejas MK2 and Mk1 as now proposed development of 23.5 tonne Twin engined 4.5++ Generation fighter jet in the same league as Dassault Rafale for the air force called as Omni role combat Aircraft (ORCA) to act as a stop-gap measure before it develops 5.5 generation AMCA for the IAF.
Both ORCA and AMCA fighter jet programs are yet to be officially sanctioned for them to take off and ADA is yet to secure its finances from the government even after it had been granted basic seed money to start work on the basic design of the aircraft. Both ORCA and AMCA are sub-25-tonne weight class aircraft which ADA plans to develop parallelly and have the first flight of initial prototypes by 2025-26. ORCA if cleared will enter production from 2029-30 onwards and will be borrowing heavily from the AMCA and Tejas MK2 project including several of the equipment from AESA Radar, Engine, and Cockpit instruments and EW equipment along with other subsystems.
Money which could have been required for the MMRCA program can be better utilized for the development of the ORCA and AMCA program which will allow local Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises to be established in India post-Chinese Virus situation where they are already reports that the small private sector companies won’t be able to survive the economic conditions if defense production in India goes in cold storage. India needs to spend its money at home and further expands its private sector for the development of the Aerospace sector in the country and the present situation allows the country to be completely independent of foreign countries in the development of fighter jets.
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