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Indian MoD starts process for obtaining CCS approval for AMCA project: MoS Ajay Bhatt

India's Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas.

NEW DELHI (PTI):  The defence ministry has initiated the process of obtaining the Prime Minister-led CCS' approval for the design and prototype development of the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt said on Monday.

India has been working on the ambitious AMCA project to develop a fifth-generation medium weight deep penetration fighter jet with advanced stealth features to significantly bolster its air power capability.

The initial development cost of the project was estimated at around Rs 15,000 crore.

Only a very few select countries in the world such as the US, Russia and China have fifth-generation stealth fighter jets.

"Yes, sir. The process for obtaining Cabinet Committee on Security's (CCS) approval for design and prototype development of Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) has been initiated," Bhatt said in Rajya Sabha while replying to a question on the project.

"Fifth-generation fighter aircraft, due to very special features, are costlier than fourth-generation fighter aircraft. Since AMCA is an indigenous fifth-generation aircraft, it is less costly than similar aircrafts available outside," the minister said.

In October, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Chaudhary said the IAF is fully committed to the AMCA project.

India's confidence in the development of the AMCA saw a significant jump after the development of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas.

Manufactured by state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the Tejas aircraft is a potent platform for air combat and offensive air support missions while reconnaissance and anti-ship operations are its secondary roles.

In February last year, the defence ministry sealed a Rs 48,000 crore deal with HAL for procurement of 83 LCA Tejas fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

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