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As Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) are set to approach the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for clearance for the development of fifth-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) after completion of the Critical Design Review (CDR), ADA has revealed the process that it follows once 15000 crore program is cleared.

The immediate step after the clearance could be metal cutting to start production of the prototype which will be rolled out four years from the date of the CCS clearance and will be followed by four more prototypes that will join the flight developmental program one year apart from the first flight of the prototype.

ADA intends to develop a ground-test specimen that will be used to carry out a slew of tests that aircraft must go through before their first flight, such as flight loads simulation, material static and fatigue testing, structural dynamics, modal analysis, airborne and structure-borne acoustics, landing gear tests, checking electronics for electromagnetic interference, and running the engines to ensure adequate performance.

The first two prototypes will be used to carry out checks on the Digital Flight Control Computers (DFCC), Avionics, flight parameters at different altitudes, day-night time flying and other testing parameters of the internal weapons, serpentine air intake etc.

The third and fourth prototypes will be used for testing out the weapons capabilities of the aircraft along with certifying them for Initial operational clearance in Air to Air Mode and later also for Air to Surface Mode over the next few years.

The last Prototype will be the first pre-production aircraft that will have near production-ready capabilities including all the systems and subsystems that were gradually included from the first to fourth prototype that will be tested also by the User (Airforce) before it is cleared for production in around 2032.

IAF plans to procure 40 AMCA MkI Standard aircraft in the first phase and another 100 AMCA MkII Standard aircraft in the second phase that will incorporate Supercruise capabilities thanks to its new 110kN Class high-powered engine but with likely delays in the new jet engine program it is expected that IAF eventually might agree to procure MkI Standard in higher numbers to avoid idling of the production plant.

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