India's AMCA: A Budget-Conscious Path to 5th-Gen Capability

India's AMCA: A Budget-Conscious Path to 5th-Gen Capability


India's aviation ambitions have taken a significant leap forward with the recent greenlighting of its Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) program. The goal: develop a cutting-edge, domestically produced 5th-generation fighter jet.

What sets the AMCA program apart is its remarkably low budget – approximately Rs 15,000 crores ($1.8 billion) – a fraction of what other nations typically spend on similar endeavors.

Cost Comparisons: AMCA vs. Global Programs​

To put this into perspective, South Korea's KF-21 program, launched in 2015, has an estimated price tag of $6.59 billion. While impressive, the KF-21's initial versions lack true 5th-generation capabilities like internal weapons bays and stealth coatings. A fully stealthy variant (Block-III) is planned for 2030 but is expected to push unit costs above $100 million and overall program costs past $7 billion.

Similarly, Turkey's TF-X (KAAN) program began in 2016 with an initial government investment of $1.18 billion and projections for an additional $2-3 billion to complete its development cycle. Unit costs for the KAAN fighter are estimated at $100-$125 million in its final configuration.

India's Cost-Effective Strategy​

India's AMCA program takes a notably more frugal approach. Initial AMCA variants (AMCA MKI) could cost around Rs 900 crore ($108 million) per unit, potentially dropping to Rs 450-500 crore ($60 million) for subsequent production models.

This affordability stems partly from the decision to use the F-414 engine, which India has the potential to produce domestically from 2027 onwards. The more advanced AMCA MKII, featuring a new indigenous 110kN engine, might see higher initial costs, but these are expected to stabilize with larger-scale production.

Despite cost-saving measures, it's unlikely the AMCA will ever match the flyaway cost of the F-35A (estimated at under $78 million by 2035).

However, India's focus isn't solely on the price tag. The AMCA program emphasizes achieving high levels of indigenization – over 70% for the MKI and exceeding 90% for the MKII. This aims to bolster India's domestic aerospace industry and reduce reliance on foreign suppliers.

Conclusion​

India's AMCA program is a distinctive venture in the world of 5th-generation fighter development. Its comparatively low budget, coupled with a strong commitment to indigenous production, could reshape the future of India's Air Force and broader defense industry.

While challenges remain, the AMCA program's focus on affordability and self-reliance charts a unique trajectory for India's military technological advancements.
 
Very Nice news in the Morning some where saying Indigenous content is not even 50% ,so this is eye opener for them .secondly couple of days i said other ongoing 5th gen project are 4.75 generation Fighter jet the author corrected into 4.5th Gen.KHAN even not yet developed its aero-engine so Final Block of so called 4.75 Gen Steath Fighter may b inducted post 2030 . its time line is matching with AMCA.Taking First flight isdoent mean its production ready .F-35 still have some problems.AMCA MK1 apart from Low cost Funding it will b 5.5th Gen & AMCA MK2 will b Gth Gen Features. India is doing best by not joining any offers of Sixth Gen Stealth Fighter project.
 
KF-21 & KHAAN is not soley developed Foreign hand have helped even then it is 4.75 Gen stealth Fighters.
 
This figure of 1.8 billion is not complete for amca. That is just for prototype development. A lot has been spent on developing the substems like stealth coatings, stealthy engine ducts, internal weapon bays etc. Similarly some money has been saved by having a lot of commonality with tejas mk2 and tedbf. Lets hope they can build it man. The models look very promising and give F22 vibes.
 
Morning some where saying Indigenous content is not even 50% ,so this is eye opener for them
Counting your chicken, even before the hen has laid an egg?

Abhi toh Covid ka excuse bhi nahin chipkaya gaya hai.
HAL is leading the project. Aage aage dekho, hota hai kya.
 
I'd prefer a "No HAL" approach over a "low cost" approach for AMCA any day.
Oh, which company other than HAL can build a twin engine stealth fighter in india. This is one of the problems that is facing the SPV model. The private players are hesitant because they lack expertise. HAL will have to take lead eventually
 
Chhapri article

Low program cost = low expenditure on R&D = Low technology❗ Hence AMCA will not reach what F-35 is.
 
Yeah, kf21 has lockheed martin as consultant and kaan has BAE systems as consultant.
western have played good game By helping kHAAN project they avoided F-35 project Participation Guarding key Tech.KHAAN will not b comparable against F-35. Just Make shift so called stealth Fight.stealth Tech not fall in wrong hand it may flew to Beggaristan than china via beggaristan .
 
Counting your chicken, even before the hen has laid an egg?

Abhi toh Covid ka excuse bhi nahin chipkaya gaya hai.
HAL is leading the project. Aage aage dekho, hota hai kya.
Mark My word it will cross 85% Indigenous content Aage aage dekho Indeginous content Badtha hi chala jayega .....................
 
Let's set aside the pricing for the moment. First, let's build a prototype.
 
which company other than HAL can build a twin engine stealth fighter in india.
HAL has not built any twin engine stealth fighter in India yet.

With that out of the way, if your question revolves around potential contrqctors, then apart from HAL corporations like NAL, Tata, Mahindra and even Adani possess capability to to design and build a stealth fighter, albeit with a lot of foreign input and consultations.
 
Mark My word it will cross 85% Indigenous content Aage aage dekho Indeginous content Badtha hi chala jayega .....................
What is the percent of indigenous content by value in our indigenous HAL Tejas Mk-1? Which our good engineers at HAL have been developing since its first flight in 2000, almost 24 years ago?
 
HAL has not built any twin engine stealth fighter in India yet.

With that out of the way, if your question revolves around potential contrqctors, then apart from HAL corporations like NAL, Tata, Mahindra and even Adani possess capability to to design and build a stealth fighter, albeit with a lot of foreign input and consultations.
NAL is a Lab, it is not a contractor. Tata has started in aerospace manufacturing in past 5-7 years, that too just some body panels for boeing. Mahindra, adani etc have veri little experience. Adani has just started with israeli help in drones.

Nobody even comes close to HAL. You want to give them control of a project like AMCA? LOL
 
pvt players are pure Copy paste job Not from Design developing and R&D process .
I am certain, IAF would perfer a copy+pasted Rafale if the private contractor could deliver 500 of them in 10 years, than a fully indigenous, in-house designed and R&D produced Tejas, of which, only 50 have been built till it first took flight 24 years ago
 
I want more prototypes to be made under AMCA mk1 to Fastrack the testing period. KF21 program even though -5 gen have 6 prototypes.
Ours should have more than 5.

Moreover, devs shall solely concentrate on stealth and weapons bay under AMCA mk1 program and not look to add ' so called advanced features ' under the mk1.

Technologies and subsystems of Tejas mk1a- Tejas mk2( already developed tech.) + stealth is more than enough for mk1.

They can make mk2 and integrate anything want on it.

This shall lead to fastrack development and prevent cost overrun.
 
What is the percent of indigenous content by value in our indigenous HAL Tejas Mk-1? Which our good engineers at HAL have been developing since its first flight in 2000, almost 24 years ago?
Engine cost almost 1/4th than comes Radar , work is in progress First Uttam AESA Radar will b Replace than Kaveri derivative in Mid Life upgrades. this way Indigenous content will climb up. Very hand ful countrys have developed this Tech .This is First project by AMCA Indigenous content is going to climb .
 

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