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India’s ambitious AMCA program, spearheaded by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), has received a significant boost with the government’s approval of funds. This unlocks the development of a next-generation fighter jet crucial for the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) future.

The initial tranche of a ?15,000 crore multi-phase funding will be directed towards establishing a new assembly line for the AMCA. This includes acquiring machinery and materials needed for assembly of first few jet. ADA and HAL aim for an aggressive timeline, targeting ground testing of the first AMCA prototype by early 2027. Flight trials are expected to commence in 2028 with one prototype manufactured per year. The final two prototypes will be near or pre-production ready, incorporating many production-standard components.

The AMCA MkI Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is projected for early 2032, with production commencing soon after. The IAF has committed to procuring 40 MkI units for extensive testing and operational doctrine development. These first two squadrons will push the aircraft to its limits, laying the groundwork for future pilots through refined tactics and strategies. has been told that Teething issues and other improvements will be sought and implement so that MkII is much more refined product.

Beyond the MkI, an even more potent variant, the AMCA MkII, is envisioned. This version will boast a jointly developed engine with French firm SAFRAN. Production of the MkII is expected to begin after 2035, with orders exceeding 100 units in first Phase. MkII will be replacing Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets from 2040 onwards when older Su-30MKI aircrafts will be nearly 40 years old.

The AMCA program signifies a significant stride for India’s self-reliance in fighter jet development. With dedicated funding and a clear roadmap, the IAF is poised to receive a game-changing domestic fighter jet in the coming decade.