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The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) dream of a homegrown fifth-generation fighter jet, the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), is inching closer to reality. Following approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) earlier this year, the development program has received a significant boost.

According to information obtained by idrw, the first prototype of the AMCA is expected to take flight within the next four and a half years, placing its first flight in late 2028. Industry sources have revealed that while the rollout of the first prototype might happen by late 2027 or early 2028, work on the second prototype will progress simultaneously. This ensures the second aircraft is ready to join developmental flight trials by 2029.

Drawing lessons from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas program, the development plan utilizes the AMCA prototypes strategically. The first three prototypes will focus on developmental flight trials and gathering valuable user feedback from the IAF. This crucial feedback will allow for refinements before production commences.

The latter two prototypes will take centre stage for weapons trials, ensuring the AMCA is fully equipped for combat. HAL and ADA, the developers, plan to roll out each prototype at intervals of 8-9 months to maintain momentum in the program.

Each prototype will serve a specific purpose, progressively validating various 5th-generation fighter jet technologies. These technologies include advanced avionics, powerful sensors, and a critical stealth design that minimizes radar detection.

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