Glimpse of the Upcoming Aircrafts of Indian Air Force

Future Aircrafts of Indian Air Force

The Indian Air Force is the fourth most powerful airforce in the world. It has numerous aircrafts including its indigenous HAL Tejas. The IAF is developing aircraft, weapons, associated technologies, and infrastructures. Here are some of the fighter aircrafts which are currently under development and will be the future of the Indian Air Force. 

Advanced Medium Combat Aircrafts (AMCA)

Advanced Medium Combat Aircrafts (AMCA)

The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) is a next-generation multirole fighter aircraft program. It has been under development by the Indian government’s Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).  It will complement the HAL Tejas, the Sukhoi Su-30MKI, MWF and the Dassault Rafale in the Indian Air Force. 

The AMCA aims to replace the Indian Air Force’s aging fleet of fighter aircraft. They will become a cutting-edge indigenous fighter jet.

Here are some key features and information about the AMCA:

  1. Stealth Capability: The AMCA is being designed with stealth technology, including advanced radar-absorbent materials, shaping, and other techniques. It reduces its radar cross-section and make it less detectable by enemy radars.
  2. Multirole Capabilities: The aircraft is intended to have a wide range of mission capabilities, including air superiority, ground attack, electronic warfare, and reconnaissance. It is being designed to carry a variety of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons.
  3. Advanced Avionics: The AMCA will feature advanced avionics systems, including a state-of-the-art radar, integrated electronic warfare systems, and advanced communication systems. These technologies will enhance situational awareness, target acquisition, and overall combat effectiveness.
  4. Engine: The AMCA is planned to be powered by two indigenous engines. There were discussions between ADA, HAL, and the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) to develop a suitable engine for the AMCA, possibly using a mix of existing and new technologies.
  5. Collaboration: The AMCA program has seen collaborations with various Indian defense research organizations, institutes, and industries. These collaborations aim to leverage expertise and resources to develop critical technologies and subsystems for the aircraft.
  6. Development Status: As of February 2023, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has finished designing the AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft). Currently, they are awaiting a “Critical Design Review,”. It is a technical evaluation to ensure that the aircraft’s system is ready for fabrication, testing, and demonstration.

Omni-role Combat Aircrafts (ORCA)

Omni-role Combat Aircrafts (ORCA)

The Omni Role Combat Aircraft (ORCA) is a concept for creating a new type of fighter plane that can perform various roles and tasks. It is designed to be a twin-engine aircraft, similar to the Rafale fighter. The ORCA is being studied and developed with some significant design differences from another aircraft. They are called the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF). The plan is for the ORCA to have its first test flight in 2026 and be ready for military use by 2032. 

The design’s twin engines are expected to allow shorter take-offs from the Indian Navy’s Short Take-Off Barrier Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) aircraft carriers. As a dedicated deck-based fighter, it will feature foldable wings for more compact storage. The TEDBF will predominantly be equipped with indigenous weapons systems.

TEDBF is intended to perform a multitude of missions, including air supremacy, air interdiction, anti-access/area denial (A2/AD), anti-ship warfare (ASW) and electronic warfare (EW) missions. The TEDBF is expected to replace the Mikoyan MiG-29K onboard the INS Vikramaditya and the INS Vikrant.

Medium Weight Fighters (MWF/ Tejas MK2)

Tejas Makr2 Aircrafts

Tejas MK2, also known as Tejas Mark 2, is an upgraded version of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). It is a single-seat, single-engine multirole fighter aircraft developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in India.

Here are some key points about the Tejas MK2:

  1. Enhanced Capabilities: The Tejas MK2 is designed to have improved capabilities compared to its predecessor, the Tejas MK1. It aims to address the shortcomings and feedback received from the Indian Air Force (IAF) regarding the MK1 variant.
  2. Increased Payload and Range: The MK2 is expected to have an increased payload capacity, allowing it to carry a greater variety and quantity of weapons. It is also aimed at having an extended range to enhance its operational capabilities.
  3. Advanced Avionics and Systems: The Tejas MK2 is planned to be equipped with advanced avionics. It includes an upgraded radar, electronic warfare systems, and communication systems. These enhancements will improve the aircraft’s situational awareness, target acquisition, and overall combat effectiveness.
  4. Improved Engine: The MK2 variant is expected to be powered by a more powerful engine compared to the MK1. The exact engine specifications for the Tejas MK2 are yet to be finalized. But it aims to offer enhanced performance and maneuverability.
  5. Upgraded Design: The MK2 variant is expected to undergo some design changes, including aerodynamic improvements and possibly changes to the airframe to accommodate the increased payload and improved systems.
  6. Development Status: The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved a budget of ₹10,000 crore on September 1, 2022, for the development of the Tejas Mark 2 fighter jet. This funding will cover prototype development and flight testing. Additionally, ₹6,500 crore will be used for the development of the jet, along with ₹2,500 crore already allocated from internal funding.

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