A sneak peek of digital renders provided by the ADA to ” India Tv ” for the first time confirms that India’s 5+ Gen fighter jet will also feature a front opening canopy windshield instead of the side opening canopy windshield seen on the Tejas Mk1A program. Traditionally fighter jets over from last few decades have adopted a rear opening canopy as standard fitment and some jets with a side opening canopy (LCA, Rafale) do exist but the least preferred ones are the front opening canopy until it was again seen in F-35 and now in Chinese deck-based J-35 5th generation fighter jets.

F-35’s front opening canopy configuration design is largely attributed to the common design that was required to be carried on all three variants that were to be developed. F-35B, that’s the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL)-capable variant needs to accommodate a lift fan just behind the canopy and other elements to operate the aircraft as a short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) due to which rear opening canopy design was not adopted and it is possible that in the future China might bring in a new deck based variant that features a STOVL variant of the J-35 that is based on the J-31 which features a rear opening canopy.


The ADA’s decision to go with this canopy design will rise curiosity given that the biggest complaints of F-35 pilots always have been that the front opening canopy eliminates rearward visibility and not being able to physically look over your shoulder doesn’t help grasp situational awareness. AMCA canopy-cockpit arrangement might be for two reasons since at this point only ADA can clarify to get exact reasons.

The foremost reasons could be to have easy access to the instrumentation and other electronic devices that are stored in the front fuselage and to reduce frequent usage of the access panels on the side. As seen in the above images, Acess pannel on the AMCA are not placed conveniently at multiple locations as seen in non-stealth fighter jets and it could be more to do with protecting Radar-absorbing material (RAM) stealth coating skin around the frontal section so as not to compromise stealth due to frequent opening on panels.

The second reason could be that the central area of the fuselage is being used for storage of additional fuel in the aircraft and due to this front opening canopy configuration was found much more suitable. this configuration also has some aerodynamic advantages which are that the aircraft’s low-observable capabilities might be enhanced.

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