Tejas
Light Combat Aircraft Tejas | Shailendra Bhojak | PTI
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To maintain a qualitative edge over its adversaries, put scarce resources to better use and look at over 50 years at the horizon, the Indian Air Force should drop its plan to make 200 fourth generation LCA Tejas Mark-2 fighter jets and focus on the fifth generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft – AMCA – stealth fighter jets.

Otherwise, the Indian Air Force risks the AMCA becoming obsolete on arrival, while flying an even more obsolete LCA Mark-2 jet into the 2070s. Even the Indian Navy requires the AMCA because the Light Combat Aircraft – LCA – that is currently being tested is not good enough for carrier operations.


Also read: Rajnath Singh becomes first defence minister to fly in indigenous Tejas fighter jet


MWF is a bad bet

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has to consider the timeline and the investments being made from an ever-shrinking budget. The LCA is a fourth generation fighter jet and the LCA Mark-2, which is now being converted to the Medium Weight Fighter (MWF) programme, is an entirely new fighter jet that is expected to first fly around 2023. That is if the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and others involved in the project manage to deliver on time, something they are not known for.

Even the LCA Mark 1A, which the IAF wants 83 of, is expected to fly only by 2022.

Although the MWF will draw on the experience and technologies developed for the LCA Mark 1 and the LCA Mark 1A, it is going to be a new fighter jet and will undergo rigorous testing, which will last several years before it is ready for induction and mass production – probably at the end of the next decade.

This is simply not good enough for the IAF, which is grappling with both a drop in its squadron strength and its qualitative edge over adversaries.

China has two fifth generation fighter jets. The twin-engine heavy fighter, the J-20, is already in service and in squadron strength in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). China is also developing a medium weight fifth generation fighter, the FC-31, which is likely to be exported to potential customers. Pakistan could be its first.

The LCA programme development has already cost India over Rs 10,000 crore. The cost of the LCA Mark 1A has shot up. The 83 Mark 1As are going to cost Rs 45,000 crore, which is about Rs 542 crore each, or $77 million. Compare this to the production cost of the American F-35 fifth generation fighter jet. By leveraging economies of scale, advanced and efficient production methods, the cost of the F-35 has been brought down to less than $80 million each. The LCA Mark-2 is likely to cost much more, probably close to $90-$100 million – very expensive for a homegrown fourth generation fighter jet. The comparable SAAB Gripen E, costs about $85 million.

Investing further into the programme for a jet that will only be ready by the end of the next decade is not wise. The IAF should instead cancel the MWF programme and focus on the AMCA.


Also read: India to receive Russian S-400 Triumf missiles by 2023, despite threat of US sanctions


Focus on AMCA

The AMCA has already been shelved once because the entire focus was on the development of the LCA. However, work on its design has been going on. The IAF should define the qualitative requirements and throw its weight behind the AMCA instead of funding the fourth generation MWF.

Barring the Su-30 MKI and the Rafales that are going to be inducted soon, the entire current inventory of MiG-29, Jaguar and Mirage in the IAF will be phased out by 2035-2040. That is about 250 fighter jets. Even first of the Su-30s will be over 40 years old and start getting phased out. Inducting a fourth generation MWF to replace them will not give the IAF a qualitative advantage and makes no sense as the timeline suggests its service life running through to the 2070s.

After India backed out from the joint development of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) with Russia, because the IAF was not satisfied with both quality and the work share that was proposed, and uncertainty over whether the US will offer the F-35 to India after we bought the Russian S-400 air defence system, the IAF needs a fifth generation option quickly.

The development of the MWF will take away all the money and attention from the critical fifth generation fighter that the IAF needs, and push its introduction beyond the 2030s and induction sometime into the 2040s. By this time, many countries, which are already working on sixth generation fighters, will start its introduction, making the Indian AMCA a generation behind its contemporaries.


Also read: Even after Rafale and other inductions, IAF will have only half of 42-squadron target by 2042


The Indian Navy, which has rejected the LCA for carrier operations, will likely prefer the twin-engine AMCA. The twin-engine jet will give it the requisite power to take off from its ski jump carriers and also carry the sufficiently useful payload, while also giving it stealth capabilities, rather than a naval MWF, which will still be underpowered for carrier operations and not carry sufficient payload.

What the IAF can do in the meantime is increase the order for the Rafale, for which India has sunk in costs for India-specific enhancements. Probably order another 36-54 jets to cover the falling squadron numbers along with the 40 LCA Mark 1 and the planned 83 LCA Mark 1A. India should also cancel the fourth generation MRCA 2.0 programme, which is likely to cost over $15 billion for 110 jets.

If the IAF does not throw its weight behind the AMCA now, it will likely end up with a situation where the development of the AMCA is lagging and it is forced to buy the Russian fifth generation PAK-FA, which it has already declared as not suitable for its requirements. That will set the AMCA programme back and repeat the cycle of imported fighter jets over indigenous ones well into the middle of the century.

The author is editor of Defence Forum India. He is a commentator on defence and strategic affairs. He tweets @YusufDFI. Views are personal.

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36 Comments Share Your Views

36 COMMENTS

  1. the engine of tejas is an american GE one and radar is also israeli and only the body panel is ours then how its an indigenious one lol……even my nation france is small but its 50years ahead of india

  2. the engine of tejas is an american GE one and radar is also israeli and only the body panel is ours then how its an indigenious one lol……even my nation france is small but its 50years ahead of india

  3. We need
    400 AMCA Gen 1
    200 AMCA Gen 2
    200 Tejas MK2
    50 Nuclear submarines and jammers
    Total Naval vessels of 350
    Work on high volumes of nuclear war heads of approximately 5000+
    1000+ Apache grade Indian made attack helicopters
    BrahMos with mach 5+ in all systems .

    At least 5000+ software technology and operations team to manage the defence assets as well as hacking the foreign signals .

    Indian army is well structured. Infrastructure help will make it top in the world .

  4. it’s USELESS to do a Mk2 and even ridiculous!
    The already built Tejas can become true monsters easily :
    1. India has already stored 100 GE F414. F414 is just a more powerful F404 and a drop-in! Fit them on Mk1!
    2. It lacks fuel? Fucking prepare conformal tanks!
    3. Thales has already prepared a modified RBE2/AESA for Tejas, it’s aready DRDO-validated and flight tested! Put it in the nose!
    4. Thales has prepared a standalone version of SPECTRA’s active stealth 4 Tejas
    => Fit all this onboard = WOW!
    The F414s can be used, maybe keeping some as spares, let”s say build 4 squadrons of 21+1 and keep a dozen F414 as spares?

    Now, due to the offset ordering French companies to study a definitive Tejas, here are the proposals :
    – standalone version of SPECTRA suite’s active cancellation stealth [DRDO-validated]
    – Same baked-in radar absorbent materials as Rafale
    – 98kN version of Rafale”s engine (as powerful as Mirage-2000-9, the Emirati on steroids version with 6.8t payload or as GE F414). Advantages : IR stealth, much smaller than F414 => 1.1m^3 less => room for fuel, 200kg lighter. Note : M88 is the only engine allowing 5-6 missions per 24h in normal use and no less than 1 week of intensive use with 10-11 missions per 24h (wasn’t tested further : after 1 week operations, Rafale-M faced a problem : lack of targets : Gaddafi’s army was totally f*cked up) [DRDO-validated]
    – As much internal fuel as Mirage-2000
    – Rafale’s AESA radar [DRDO-validated]
    – 500kg lighter than Tejas Mk1 => 1,800kg lighter than Mirage-2000-9 with the same thrust => Payload and speed affected… And since M-2000-9 has 6.8t payload and is Mach2+ capable…
    – Safran has created a joint venture with HAL to make the M88/K9+ (Kaveri 9+) in India
    – BRS (balistic recovery system) parachute.
    => As the flight profile is not modified, no need 4 prototyping! All you have to do is validate the mods.

    Dassault estimated the flyaway cost at $45-46M, half of a Gripen-E.

  5. The expert opinion that Tejas MWF be cancelled is really misplaced and arguments are incorrect on almost all counts. Tejas MWF kills the prospect of Single Engine Fighters (SAAB’s Gripen E and LM’s F21) and I’m apprehensive that it’s part of continued propaganda of foreign OEMs against Tejas program. This expert wants everything (including MMRCA 2.0 though as a footnote) to be cancelled in favour of AMCA – mercifully he spared Tejas MK1/1A. The crux is – the expert fails to answer (even raise) the critical question of how to bolster the falling number fighters in the coming decade. It’s easy to see through that after cancellation, the numbers in the coming decade will be filled by F21 or so under a new MMRCA 3.0. Here is point by point rebuttal:

    1. It’s not just quality, but we need quantity and we need quantity badly and urgently. Right now quantity pressure is in light weight category with the retirement of MiG 21/23/27. In a decade, the quantity pressure will be acutely felt in the medium weight category with the retirement of 12-13 squadrons (Jaguars – 6 sqdns, Mig 29 – 3+1 sqdns, and Mirage 2000 – 3 Sqdns) – 114 fighters under MMRCA 2.0 will not be adequate. On the contrary, we need large number of cheap and indigenous fighters in the lower end – MK1 costs only about USD 30m. I would even argue more numbers of Tejas MK1 be inducted as even in MK1 format Tejas can replace MiGs in light category. In fact, the way order of MK1A has been dragged on for the last 2 years, chances are that Tejas production line might remain idle during 2022-23.

    2. Stealth fighters costs of lots of money to maintain, about USD 35-40K/per hour. In comparison, western SFEs cost about USD 6-7K/hour, western Twin Engine Fighters (TEFs) about USD 12-14K / hour and Russian TFEs about USD 20-25K/hour. Assuming 20K flying hours over the entire lifetime, it translates to about USD 750-800 m for stealth, USD 130-140M for SFEs, USD 240-280M for TEFs and about USD 400-500M for Russian planes. Add to it the costs of midlife upgrades and major spares. Clearly Lifecycle Cost (LCC) wise, stealth will cost at least 5-6 times of SEFs. Now factor in their availability and cost / sorty – stealth fighters can’t make more than one sorty in a day compared to 3-4 sorties of Tejas / others – so effectively stealth fighters cost at least 15-20 times more than SEFs. Clearly all stealth air force is truly prohibitive – even rich Americans don’t do it.

    3. Large part of the ecosystem for AMCA production will be same as that of Tejas. Even majority of the technology of AMCA is and will continued to be derived from Tejas program, most notably from MWF. Radar, EWS, Sensors, engine (GE 414 or our own) are mostly going to be same as that of MWF. Even large part of FBW system will come from MWF. Feedback and improvement loop of technology is an iterative process and can’t happen in a big bang fashion in AMCA alone. By closing / pausing development in Tejas program and specifically closing MWF program, we are effectively shutting down lots of aviation MSME activities and improvements. Continuous evolution of Tejas program is the foundation of successful and timely AMCA – AMCA can’t be developed in a void in a big bang fashion.

    4. AMCA is not the silver bullet – low observability is achieved with the trade-off on payload and manoeuvrability. What if stealth becomes obsolete? Premium on stealth is already eroding – existing multi band radars (S400 or their miniature versions) or opto-electric / heat seeking sensors (OSF of Rafale has 100km range) already detect the stealth planes and they’ll improve. If photonics radars or quantum radars become a reality, stealth is obsolete and we’d be left with a plane whose payload and manoeuvrability are severely compromised. What if AMCA takes much longer or fails. We can’t put all our eggs in one basket and abandon everything else. We need fighters in all categories.

    5. Last but not the least, all facts and figures of this so called expert be it cost or time are grossly exaggerated. The expert states price of MK1A as USD 75m, but that of F35 as only USD 80-85 or F21 as only USD 70m. Reality is quite different – Tejas MK1A costs about USD 57m whereas MMRCA 2.0 will cost about USD 18 billion even for F21 (i.e. USD 158m/plane) or F35 will effectively cost at least 15-20 times more. Even the expert’s timeline of Tejas are out by at least 7-8 years. Further the expert is extrapolating future till 2070 and wants us to believe that Tejas MWF would be obsolete but low observable AMCA would still be relevant by 2070. My take is that by 2070 both AMCA and MWF will be far less relevant and 7th gen fighters will be flying without men and large swarm of cheap and intelligent drones and directed energy weapons acting as their sword tip. Quantum radars and photonic radars will be reality and current form of stealth will be obsolete much earlier.

  6. Do you remember the Gnas staging the Phantoms?India should develop Tejas with more powerful Engines for use in local areas in a small radius.The other can be pursued.Do not allow 30 years’ experience go down the drain.

  7. Am not an expert but the cost for Tejas seems too much. If it is indigenous then with low labor costs one would have expected a much cheaper product.

    • .. dunno which lobby is he representing… while experts even outside the government and even foegin nations have shown interest in Tejas .. morever …. we are on the right track now… the developmental effort and experience in the Tejas will surely acelrate the time for the 5th gen amca ….. What we need for nationa security is a priduction line within our borders that gurantees production any time and any circumstance…

      The print should prevent such columnists and authors to put up their whims and fancies

  8. I felt reviled when i saw this article is in opinion section not by the print. Now a days due to social media everyone has an opinion.
    But when you go an write a opinion on a media site you need to be well researched the topic.
    It seems like Mr Yusuf jus want to write without putting any logic. Any one can figure out Yusuf has no idea what he is taking about.
    He don’t understand what an AMCA and MWF is. He believes since China has 5th generation aircraft we should also have that’s all.
    Without considering how an Airforce work, what is 5th Gen technologies are and for my surprise he didn’t know that EU not at all interested in building a 5th gen aircraft they are looking for 6th generation.
    2 technology which are Stealth and data fusion are 5th gen tech apart from super cruise.
    With the advancement of Radar technology Stealth is not going to be a game changer in future .. but data fusion would be ..
    China might have copied the F35 design but sensors and data fusion would be difficult.
    AMCA is gradual development of MWF so what India is doing is perfect and make sense ..
    Please stop your nonsense .. if you don’t have understanding first get the knowledge ..

  9. All the arguments in this article are tailored towards one thing- helping the import lobby. The fact that the IAF has expressed its interest in inducting nearly 200 Tejas Mk2/MWF fighters in the 2025-2035 time period. If there is no Tejas Mk2/MWF to be delivered during this time period, then who gets those 200 orders that will be needed to replace the Jaguars, MiG-29s and Mirage-2000s? The company that would have set up its assembly line in India to deliver those 114 MRCA units. If the Tejas Mk2/ MWF is cancelled, the foreign OEM company that will build the MRCA in India with a strategic partner will see its order size more than triple. This is just a ploy- to build up the argument to scuttle indigenisation and offer strawman arguments on why AMCA should get all the attention. Luckily for us, the politicians in power won’t fall for such BS.

  10. A moronic article. The AMCA can come about only when we build an MRCA like the Tejas MWF. No nation has leap-frogged from light jets to 5th gen fighters.

    Also, the Tejas MWF is a viable alternative to the 110 MRCA, because it’s specs are quite like the Gripen NG and F-16 Block D. So, it can save us billions of dollars in precious forex and sustain an indigenous aerospace industry. We’ll no longer have to depend on foreign private companies for our air defence.

  11. I have been noticing negative comments for DRDO & HAL for developing TEJAS, an Indian LCA for delay in delivering it to IAF.

    Before giving comments, it is our responsibility to find out the right reasons behind that delay.
    A. Frequent changes in the design of the aircraft;
    B. Non availability of right jet engine for it. After the Pokharan nuclear explosion, van was imposed on the transfer technology, spare parts & the engine itself;
    C. Congress Government was not in favour of LCA development, hence funds were not provided to the concerned agencies. Such projects need big amount & clear cut policy from the government & the IAF. Here, things were changing from time to time.
    D. All developments were entrusted to DRDO & HAL. If for certain parts, private sectors were involved they could have worked by getting technical collaboration from leading companies in this field.
    E. Development took place during Vajpayee’s Modi’s Governments’. Both these agencies are now doing pretty good progress in this project.
    F. HAL & DRDO’s hands are full with so many projects entrusted to them to meet various requirement of our Air Force. It will be Good idea to assign Fighter aircraft project (research & development) to another agency.
    G. IAF should give their specific & realistic requirement in one go, so that wastage of precious time & money can be avoided.
    H. A clear policy should be there to these agencies about the number of aircrafts to be manufactured, so that proper vendors are lined up this will increase efficiency, reduce cost.
    I. Opportunity should be worked out for the export of these aircrafts, as it will bear precious foreign exchange & bulk production will led to cost reduction.
    J. All this will help a proper development & upgradation of technology for future.
    K. It is very strange that we have not yet developed an appropriate JET Engine for our LCA whereas, our Scientists in ISRO have developed rockets to for Moon & Mangal planet.

    My emphasis is to stop blaming, have focus on the problem areas.

  12. Yes you are right sir but what I suggest given the time involved in development of next generation technology by R&D establishment particularly DRDL is to go in for development of sixth generation aircraft over because by the time Indians will be able to do it, given their past track record , Many countries will either have 6th generation fighter aircraft or at the fag end of achieving the technology and India will be again found wanting on that front.

  13. If some idiot thinks by putting a article gov will stop mk2 then he is the biggest idiot. It’s written on wall now LCA will be coming in many versions u like it or don’t like it.

  14. It takes ages to master stealth & with AMCA we are already late. Tejas 2/MWF offers good stepping stone & also large export options. Infact ADA is planning to involved a lot of private sector with all the knowledge from DRDO/HAL now creating real value. Military technology is not just defense & we need to look at the larger strategic objective. I would infact reconsider AMCA. It will surely be obsolete & we are up against a very steep learning curve. Instead we could focus on AURA Unmanned Drones. The future might not be Manned flight.

  15. After introduction of S-400, what’s the fun to run behind 5th Generation jets ? Leave S-400 , even Su-30 MKI can detect Chinese 5th Generation fighter. Investing in Indegenious technologies will always give dividend in one or other ways. Though India should planned to be prepared for Two Front War , our defence focus must be anyway Anti- Pakistan. We posses credible deterrence against China,and hence should not run in Arms race with China. In this decade only , India is trying to get out of vicious Cycle of Exported ” Arms & defence Equipment “. LCA program is a building block of Indian Defence & Aero Industry, hence it is must, even at cost of 80 Million.

  16. This is a serious issue for our country because around 3-4 years ago I heard about IAF thinking about the Russian FGFA which is now been cancelled. If no decision about a Fifth Gen Fighter is taken immediately then it would be very late. We are world’s 4 on many aspects like Force’s size, space mission etc, all these will make no sense. Personal Opinion.

  17. Bad move to stop Tejas mark 2 because the development of mark 2 is the stepping stone for amca and developing a 5th generation fighter is a new frontier for India so there can be many factors opposing it like cost of development and all. And also pls stop comparing J 20 to others ….those arent proven fighters yet and we all know about the sub par engine problem .

  18. The author of the article is either an absolute idiot or a paid dalal of foreign arms lobby. Which country is using only fifth gen aircraft in its airforce? Even USA could not afford more than 187 f22 raptor because of high production and lifecycle cost. 4th gen aircraft will remain a part of every airforce till 2070 because no airforce can afford an inventory of aircrafts comprising only 5th gen and 6th gen aircrafts even in near 2050, let alone now. Tejas mark 2 mwf will be a potent replacement of mig 29, mirage 2000 in every performance aspect. As far as price is concerned, it will be in 70 to 80 million dollar per piece because of high indigenous content comprising the advanved panoramic cockpit developed for amca, ew suite, litening pod, uttam aesa radar , actuators, obogs and manymore LRUs. In this price and indigenous contents context, its a better deal and will snatch Gripen E market in coming future and that is why dalals and their paid media trying to scuttle indigenous programs

  19. Pseodo & ultra nationalism has freezed bhakts ability to listen & understand. R&D is important but not at the cost of security. Next decade will belong to 5th generation jets & india will be flying new sub standard 4th generation plans. In next 20 yrs China will emerge as economic & military superpower. Air superiority is one of the way to contain expansionist China. Present govt has become victim of their ultra nationalism. Nation has witnessed how bjp’s stubborn & unconventional policies has jeopardized economy. Continuation of such policies in national security will not only distroy defense funds but also put national security at risk.

    • Don’t get carried away by whatever you read in the newspaper or articles. You need to have a clear and calm mind. Or they can manipulate your mind easily.
      But you can’t be helped if you came here with ANTI-BJP mindset or any other.
      Every next-generation aircraft is built from the knowledge gained from the previous generation. MWF is on the right track, which is 4.5 gen not 4th gen. We don’t want to repeat whatever happened with Marut.
      “Next decade belongs to 5th generation jets”, you can’t say for sure as radar technology is improving day by day. So, just the 5th generation aircraft is a game-changer is a hoax. You need a mixture of different supporting technologies and building one technology gives one insight into the other related technologies as all are inter-dependent.
      This article came at a time when defense minister went all out to support the desi made jet, which definitely can’t be compared with other aircraft but it is a stepping stone and needed to be made, technology had to be developed. Plus, the author is comparing the price of f35, does the author know nothing about the flying cost of an aircraft. Even buying su57 is not as easy as it seems. The aircraft has to be made fit for Indian condition which will take time as well as money.

  20. It will be suicidal to self Tejas mark 2.work has already been carried out.one should never shoot at some thing which we can see coming.. ANCA can progress on a parallel.As far as pakfa /T57 is concerned India should surely buy as it has something which no aircraft in the world has and India will never be able to make such a aircraft even in next 15 years or even 20 years.Russia took almost 45 years to develop super manurability to develop from a common threshold. IAF Airhead Quarters shunted the engineer to maintenance command without realising the importance of what was achieved at a base repair depot. In India.. You may note we had Harriers in Indian Navy.IAF personal never ever understood the importance of the inherent technology of vertical landing . Our tip brass always lacked understanding and vision..So we will continue to pay a heavy price on developments, conceiving new technologies, km understanding the value of technology being selected and purchased.Ajay Kumar

  21. Are we not an eternally “Catch Up Mode R&D nation” ? Pleasantly Govt deserves kudos to break the cycle of India the Biggest Defence Importer and focussing on Development Exports. This is why we see Tejas functional today.
    We have umpteen Tech Transfers jacking up costs of purchase . However ultimately rely on imports ( again with tech transfer costs added) for the next breakthrough technology in all sectors be it rail transportation, power .. automobiles unlike S.Korea Japan. But I am optimistic hum honge kamyab ek dinnnnn….
    Ever we ponder why Japan S.Korea China W.Eu, Israel, can develop and deliver and outsmart even the erstwhile tech donors? Do we think how much our private sector companies ploughs back into their R&D ? Must Read Akio Morita’s Book ” Made in Japan” where he inspite of Being Chairman of SONY can’t afford a wonderful Diamond Necklace so puts it back. Compare it to THE OPULENCE of our Private sector captains barring a few 😢 . We have very very few Ratan Tatas .
    Also must take a look at THEIR Education outlay in terms of GDP and the Accountability of Industry +Academia+ R&D bodies mission mode dedication to deliver on time better than existing products hence out spacing the catch up race to stay ahead and keep on with next generation .
    Above all our psyche of Reactive response must change to Proactive Response . We must look at creating something like DARPA and maintain it free to advise and deliver in a Proactively. Hence humble suggestions will be to involve greater private sector stake holder participation for Prototype tested LCA 2 while encouraging Overseas would be customers as potential R&D partners and in clients + research support . This will free resources to build on AMCA and to avoid being reactive to Paki+ Chin +++ nexus Vandemataram

  22. India should buy the F 15 EX fighter jet from USA and then we do not have to worry about both our neighbours China and Pakistan buying Gripen E planes which have GE Engines makes no sense at all,my unsolicited advise go for the F 15 EX fighter and you can take care of any threat thrown by our Enemy although it is a 4.5 ++ proven Fighter it can protect our needs for at least the next 30 years.Because the AMCA programe will definetly take some time.This is a short term measure to avoid any adventurisim from our Neighbours.Jai Hind.

    • This is a obsolete air frame and does not have much left in it to offer and is expensive to resurrect establish and maintain relevant infra for the short life period of airframe life and viability.We are in for a stealth environment and IAF should focus on development and procurement of Quantum radars.We should learn to undo enemy stealth. Unfortunately we have not initiated efforts in right direction.Ajay Kumar

  23. Don’t understand if author has any idea about capability building or not. 77 million paid for indigenous fighter is better than 85 million for generation 5 imported. It’s not just about developing a fighter jet, who know tommorow the same team will develop a commercial airliner. The adjacencies of self development are massive.
    Remember the old adage ‘ you teach a man how to fish …,’

  24. Completely agree with you on most of the points, sir. Though India needs a set of 110 MMRCA 2.0 and 3 more squadrons of rafales to effectively cancel the LCA Mark 2 order to keep the depleting strength in check. India will become a laughing stock if the Govt. decides to cancel the MMRCA 2.0 contract as no one will take us seriously which can greatly affect India’s future acquisitions. As we can see that Eurofighter typhoon though participating has not shown any interest in MMRCA 2.0 whatsoever. India shouldn’t shy for the collaboration in their AMCA project and should set the deadline for the project. It’s a matter of time when Pakistan will get its hand on J31, making the IAF’s decision to invest in Mark2 and the investments on Rafale irrelevant. I hope some decision markers from the forces and babus from the ministry read this article.

  25. The interesting question is how did China leap frog so soon into two versions of 5th Gen fighters ? Did they do some reverse engineering on the Russian designs ? And how effective are they as 5th gen planes ?
    Also, are our IAF and MOD experts being too fussy and choosy about the PAK FA specs , instead of going ahead with producing this aircraft immediately and then improving it with our own expertise ?

    Even by “focusing” on AMCA it could take another 15 years to fly and another 5 years to be accepted.

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