Pri­or­ity re-think on Pro­ject AMCA

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

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.

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