Priority re-think on Project AMCA
Major and ongoing delays in the light combat aircraft programme have finally reached a point where the Defence Ministry has put a dam on the AMCA fifth generation fighter effort, calling upon the DRDO labs involved to direct every last bit of energy into ensuring that there are no further slippages in the Tejas programme. With the eight limited series aircraft taking to the skies recently, confidence is finally back in the drifting programme, but bud- get sanctions and manpower projections of the AMCA forced the MoD to bite the bullet and take a hard decision.
With the Tejas to complete all clearances by the end of next year and enter squadron service the year after that, a thought process within the Defence Ministry is to pre-empt any further damage to a programme that has already seen massive time and cost overruns. In this matter, the DRDO Chief has been unofficially overruled, given that the AMCA is being pushed as a flagship aeronautical effort, in many ways to divert attention from the deep problems of the Tejas. For now, funding and manpower will be temporarily eased off pending completion of all parameters and delivery of the Tejas.