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    Utkarsh Ganesh

    This is indeed a phenomenal achievement. But given the fact that we are almost already in 2020, my humble view is that it does not make sense to have an LCA Naval version at this point. This can be an excellent test-bed for testing new technologies as and when they come, but getting N-LCA would not be future-proofing our navy.

    Instead, this technology needs to be used for AMCA and Indian Navy needs to be roped into the AMCA program from day one. IAF is already on board.

    India will tremendously benefit from fleet terms of operating cost and training costs. Although there will be many differences and naval aircraft would be more challenging, the commonality would allow us to ensure a more coordinated combat training program for both IAF and Navy pilots.

    Our objective should be to limit the number of aircraft types in our fleet to a maximum of three types, going forward. This is the exact advantage the US, China and Russia have with their indigenous industry. They are future proof.

    US: F-35A & F-22s for USAF, F/A-18 & F-35C for Navy.

    Russia: Su-35 & SU-57 for VVS, Su-33 & MiG-29K for Navy

    China: J-10C, Su-35BM, J-20 for PLAAF, J-15 and J-31 for Navy

    This is what India needs to achieve -> maximum fleet commonality and self-reliance.

    Currently, our fleet is a zoo:

    IAF: Su-30MKI, Mirage-2000, MiG-29UPG, Jaguar DARIN III, MiG-21 Bison, HAL Tejas. Rafale C.

    Indian Navy: MiG-29K, with no consideration for AMCA (still looking for F/A-18 SH or Rafale M).

    This is precisely what we need to avoid.


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