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Future Fighters: Drone swarm, laser technology demonstration, AMCA nod probably this year | India News

BENGALURU: In keeping with the Center’s Atmanirbhar (self-sustaining) initiative and the need for modernization of the military, India’s main defense research agency is confident of achieving milestones in three key projects this year.
The 5.5 generation twin-engine twin-engine stealth aircraft program, Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), is expected to gain formal approval early in the second half of this year. The fact that the IAF also appears to be interested in the program may ultimately speed it up.
AMCA development has entered the crucial phase of a detailed data generation process for prototyping. The Center awarded the sanction for the design phase, with an allocation of more than 400 million rupees, in December 2018 and, if all goes according to plan, the first AMCA flight is expected in 2025.
On when to expect the prototype implementation, Reddy said: “We will be able to say six months later once we have formal approval for the project, which is expected this year.”
According to DRDO, the multi-role aircraft with precision strike capabilities will be able to fight BVR (beyond visual range) and accommodate future missiles in its arsenal. Sources said it will be designed to operate in both manned and unmanned roles.
The aircraft will have multiple modern features: stealth, pilot-vehicle interface, sensor data fusion, passive sensors, AESA radar, electronic warfare package, decision aids, network-centric warfare, low emissions, situational awareness 360 ° enhanced, etc.
Air Chief of Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, also indicated during the recently concluded Aero India that the IAF is interested in AMCA. In fact, in the preview edition of the show, when he was spearheading the training command, Bhadauria had said that AMCA would be the IAF’s first choice for a fifth-generation fighter.
While DRDO’s Aviation Development Agency (ADA) will design AMCA, the aircraft will be produced in conjunction with HAL and a private actor with plans in place for an SPV. There will also be participation from other government agencies under the MoD and DRDO.
A senior official from the AMCA project team at HAL said: “At the moment, it will be just ADA and HAL. There is talk of a private player, but nothing is definitive yet. “Another official added that manufacturing of parts for AMCA will take place at PSU’s Nashik plant, but integration of prototypes and other developments will take place in Bengaluru. , together with CABS (Center for Airborne Systems).
In addition, the source said that the IAF, learning from the LCA program, has decided to get involved early on to ensure that the aircraft meets its requirements at every stage and that the project is not delayed.
Laser weapons and swarm of drones
Furthermore, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is confident of demonstrating drone swarm technology and high powered energy weapons (lasers) aimed at giving India a Star Wars-style arsenal. The TOI previously reported on India’s plans for high-energy-based weapons.
DRDO President G Sateesh Reddy told TOI: “Today’s anti-drone system is completely laser-based and we have proven it. We are developing lasers of higher power, naturally the kill range is extended and we can also attack other types of targets. We should be able to demonstrate this this year. ”
DRDO is looking at – there is no formal mechanism for working with the armed forces as there is today – land, ships and airborne laser weapons in the future. “There may be multiple applications, but the demonstration will take place on the ground. These can become border-based weapons, ”Reddy said, adding that DRDO could also demonstrate drone swarm technology without elaborating.
While the military is interested in both technologies, it will take time to mature before DRDO can offer them for testing. This means that it can take more than a decade for the military to actively consider you for induction.

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