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India’s ambitious 5th generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) program is on the verge of a crucial milestone as the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is set to decide on the selection of an engine partner. This crucial step is expected to occur before the program receives official clearance from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and the Indian Air Force (IAF) have already determined that the AMCA program will consist of two variants: the MkI variant, which will be powered by the older F-414 engine, and the MkII variant, which will require a new 110-kN class engine.

While the MkI variant will be powered by the proven F-414 engine, the focus is primarily on the MkII variant, which is anticipated to receive orders for five squadrons. To advance the talks for the co-development of this new engine, the Indian AMCA team, along with officials from the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has held meetings with representatives from Rolls-Royce and Safran. These discussions aim to ensure that the new engine meets the thrust requirements of the MkII variant.

The AMCA program will truly gain momentum once a suitable engine partner is selected. Even if the CCS grants clearance to the program, it will not proceed without the selection of an engine partner. The MoD is keen on expediting the engine partner selection process and avoiding any delays in the development of the new engine that could potentially impede the progress of the AMCA program.

The selection of an engine partner is a critical decision for the AMCA program, as the performance and capabilities of the aircraft will heavily rely on the power and efficiency of the engine. The chosen engine partner will play a crucial role in the development and integration of the engine into the aircraft, ensuring optimal performance and operational efficiency. India’s AMCA program aims to develop a state-of-the-art 5th-generation fighter aircraft, equipped with advanced technologies and capable of meeting the nation’s future defence requirements.

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