HomeAatmanirbhar BharatIndia's Cost-Effective Approach to Developing AMCA Indigenous 5th Generation Stealth Fighter

India’s Cost-Effective Approach to Developing AMCA Indigenous 5th Generation Stealth Fighter

Source : IgMp Bureau

India's Cost-Effective Approach to Developing AMCA Indigenous 5th Generation Stealth Fighter
AMCA 5th Generation Stealth Fighter CGI by Kuntal Biswas

India has recently approved its ambitious Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) program, which aims to develop a domestic 5th-generation fighter jet. Unlike other countries, India is adopting a cost-effective approach to this endeavor.

Comparison with Other Programs

South Korea’s KF-21 Program

South Korea’s KF-21 program, launched in 2015, is estimated to cost $6.59 billion. The initial variant lacks features like an internal weapons bay and stealth coating, making it more of a 4.5-generation aircraft. The unit cost for the true stealth variant (Block-III) is expected to exceed $100 million.

Turkey’s TF-X (KAAN) Program

Turkey’s TF-X (KAAN) program, initiated with an investment of $1.18 billion, is projected to require an additional $2-3 billion to complete. The unit cost estimates for the KAAN fighter range from $100 million to over $125 million.

India’s Cost-Effective Approach

India’s AMCA program is taking a more cost-effective approach. Initial variants (AMCA MKI) are expected to be priced around ₹900 crore ($108 million) per unit, dropping to ₹450-500 crore ($60 million) for later production models. This affordability is attributed to the use of the F-414 engine, which could be produced locally in India from 2027 onwards.

Comparison with F-35A

Even with these cost-saving measures, the AMCA is unlikely to surpass the F-35A’s estimated flyaway unit cost of under $78 million even in 2035. However, the AMCA program prioritizes high levels of indigenization, targeting over 70% for the MKI variant and exceeding 90% for the MKII. This approach aims to reduce reliance on foreign technology and build a robust domestic aerospace industry in India.

Conclusion: India’s Unique Strategy

India’s AMCA program represents a unique strategy in the world of 5th-generation fighter development. While its budget is lower compared to other programs, the focus on affordability and high indigenization levels could pave the way for a more self-sufficient Indian Air Force in the future.

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