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SOURCE: NARAYAN APTE/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

India’s AMCA 5th generation fighter jet will require an engine that is capable of generating 110kN of Wet thrust with 75kN Dry thrusts but it seems DRDO/ADA has decided that they instead will now settle for a 125kN of Wet thrust that will be used to power both 25-ton AMCA and 26-ton TEDBF Programs.

The development of the 125kN Jet engine was always on the minds of the DRDO/ADA so that it can cater to future power requirements of AMCA, TEDBF, and 6th Generation platform but going for 125kN Jet engine instead of 110kN engine seems to be more to cater to future weapons rather than a platform.

Directed-energy technology is still evolving but the one constant thing is that the power requirements to power them are just insane and taking out surface-to-air or air-to-air missiles traveling at Mach speeds is difficult and laser no matter how small they are for airborne laser weapons, it will still require power surge if it can be used effectively.

The present level of airborne laser weapons under testing the world over can defeat small rockets, unmanned aerial vehicles, small attack boats, and lightweight ground vehicles and are limited by capabilities due to high power lasers that are still bulky and can’t be mounted on an aircraft and also because of energy needs, but technology will evolve and there will come a time when podded laser weapons might be sold just like how air to air missile is sold these days for which airborne platform needs to be future-ready.

AMCA program will eventually replace the Su-30MKI fleet as IAF finds no reason to go for another Heavy Class fighter jet after retiring them for which it will require more upgrades and weapons loading capabilities that can cater to future demands for which a 125kN keep it future-ready.

While IAF might be not talking about it but the arrival of 6th generation planes by the mid-2030-40 period is not friction now but will be a reality for which IAF and ADA might want to start work on a 6th gen platform from 2030 onwards so that a workable jet is available at least by 2040s.

Whatever might be the reasons to go for a 125kN engine for the AMCA program it will have a trickle-down effect on the TEDBF and Tejas Mk2 program as well and even might find its way into the Su-30MKI platforms.

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