Medium Combat Aircraft

infobox Aircraft
name = Medium Combat Aircraft
type = Stealth Air Superiority Strike Fighter
manufacturer =Aeronautical Development Agency
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
first flight = Planned in 2012
introduction = By 2020
status = Under Development
primary user = Indian Air Force

The Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA) is a twin-engined 5th generation stealth strike aircraft being developed by India. It will complement the HAL Tejas and the Sukhoi Su-30MKI in the Indian Air Force. The main purpose of this aircraft is to replace the aging SEPECAT Jaguar & Mig 27s and will face direct competition from China's J-XX. Design work on the MCA has been started although it is still awaiting approval. [http://www.zeenews.com/znnew/articles.asp?aid=392351&sid=NAT&sname=&news=LCA%60s%20naval%20version%20scheduled%20to%20fly%20by%20middle%20of%20next%20year] [http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/jun/05drdo.htm] According to some reports the plane might fly by March 2009

Development

Although India began the development of the Light Combat Aircraft in 1983, India has mulled the eventual development of a 5th generation fighter aircraft, that would eventually replace the SEPECAT Jaguar and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-27 bomber/strike aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Presently there are two proposals before the Government of India, regarding the development programme of the proposed 5th generation fighter. One envisages the indigenous development of the 5th generation aircraft i.e. the MCA, which would be the successor to the LCA project. Another proposal was the development of the fighter in collaboration with another country that has experience in the development of fighter aircraft (notably Russia).

For some years before 2006 (2001), Russia had proposed to India the joint development of its 5th generation fighter aircraft designated as PAK-FA [ [http://www.indianexpress.com/story/21678.html Advanced stealth fighter aircraft India-Russia’s new joint venture] ] . According to the proposal, this fighter would thus be funded and developed by Russia and India. India had been considering the latter proposal in place of MCA's development for 2 reasons :

* Development of a 5th generation fighter indigenously by India may take more time and money, since it will be a technological challenge. Thus, collaboration with an experienced aircraft manufacturer such as Russia would reduce time and costs of this programme.

* Russia itself needed a 5th generation fighter aircraft, but probably had a shortage of finances. India could provide the requisite finances and using Russia's technological expertise, it could develop the PAK-FA in a shorter time.

However in the year 2005, India rejected the Russian proposal of PAK-FA on the grounds that India was not consulted in the design of the PAK-FA since the beginning. [ [http://www.indianexpress.com/story/9900.html Indo-Russia joint stealth fighters programme flies into turbulence] ]

In August 2006, India's then defence minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee announced in Parliament that the government is evaluating the experiences gained from the LCA programme for the MCA. Thus, presently, it is likely that the indigenous MCA programme shall be chosen by India for its future 5th generation fighter aircraft along with the Indo-Russian fifth-generation fighter.Fact|date=March 2008

But in January 2007, India and Russia formally resumed fresh negotiations over a fifth-generation fighter development programme which was the PAK-FA. India chose the Sukhoi proposal of PAK-FA, over the other proposal that could most probably have been from MiG, and contractual negotiations are ongoing. [ [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS/India/Russia_hardsells_military_ware/articleshow/1438529.cms Russia hardsells military ware] ] According to proposals, both countries will jointly develop the PAK-FA. However, India shall continue developing the MCA's as a separate project.

MCA is expected to make its first flight before 2009. It will face direct competition from China's J-XX, whose prototype is expected to be flown somewhere between 2008 and 2010.

According to some reports the plane might fly by March 2009. [cite web|url= http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NEWS/newsrf.php?newsid=10102|title= 5th generation fighter aircraft will fly in march next: Adviser|accessdate= 2008-06-15|date= 2008-06-15|publisher= bharat-rakshak.com]

Design

The MCA appears to be an elongated version of the LCA, with 2 engines and the tail-fin removed. The compound clipped delta wing design is similar to that of the LCA. The engines are likely to be the Kaveri engine, if it is available by then. Whichever engines are chosen, they are likely to have thrust vectoring and supercruise capabilities. The expected thrust-to-weight ratio of the engines shall be 7.8:1. Thus, the only components common between MCA and LCA will be part of the wing, the Kaveri engine, and some systems and subsystems. MCA will also be heavier than the LCA (12 ton dry weight).

Potential customers

* Indian Air Force
* Indian Navy

pecifications

ee also

aircontent
related=
* HAL Tejas

similar aircraft=
* F-22 Raptor
* Mitsubishi ATD-X
* Sukhoi Su-47
* PAK-FA
* J-XX

sequence=

lists=
* List of fighter aircraft

see also=

References

External links

* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfrAMveMsUI Animated 3D rendering]
* [http://www.india-defence.com/specifications/fighters/58 Medium Combat Aircraft] history, specifications and photographs on India Defence.
* [http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Info/Aircraft/MCA.html Medium Combat Aircraft] from Bharat Rakshak
* [http://www.indianexpress.com/story/9900.html Indo-Russia joint stealth fighters programme flies into turbulence]
* [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India_Russia_to_develop_fifth-generation_stealth_fighter/articleshow/2471943.cms India, Russia to develop fifth-generation stealth fighter]
* [http://www.geocities.com/spacetransport/aircraft-mca.html MCA info]


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