The Aeronautical Development Agency, which had conceived and designed the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, has set the ball rolling for building the next generation defence aircraft, the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), by extending an invitation to private players in Coimbatore to build a technology demonstrator.
The proposal is not only the first time an indigenous military aircraft programme is seeing the involvement of private players, but it is also the first time a defence plane development project is proposed to be executed outside Bengaluru.
The project — to be implemented in Sulur in Coimbatore district which may house the permanent base of the Tejas squadron — marks Tamil Nadu’s first major defence aircraft project.
Talking about the fifth generation aircraft AMCA , ADA programme director Girish Deodhar said: “We’ve only invited an Expression of Interest and received application from a few industries. It’d be too early to reveal names or numbers as the project is in a preliminary phase and final clearance is awaited.”
The agency, created for the design and development of Tejas, has become relevant with the AMCA project and defence sources said the involvement of private players is in line with the Centre’s ‘Make In India’ programme and it could help with the project’s timelines.
According to ADA, private players will be required to manufacture, assemble and equip the 5th Gen fighter aircraft and for the first time the industry will be involved from the stage of developing a process plan, design and fabricate parts, manufacture both metallic and composite parts, prepare sub-assembly jigs, create subassemblies and transport them to the identified Flight Test Facility.
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