TEDBF Will enter production in 2031: Navy Chief

Preliminary work for development of the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) has begun at ADA with support from Indian Navy. The Project is being monitored by the Naval Project Office at Bengaluru, which was initially set up to coordinate the LCA (N) project. The aircraft is planned to undertake its first flight by year 2026 and roll out the production variant by year 2031.

TEDBF will feature a close-coupled canard and a Diverterless supersonic inlet (DSI) air intake with stealth optimized frontal fuselage section and wider cockpit area for carrier-based landings. TEDBF will be powered by Two GE-F414IN engines that will be later replaced by an Indigenous 110kN Class engine to be developed for the AMCA Program. TEDBF design can further optimized to carry 5th gen fighter tech once in production.

In twelve years from now, a twin engine variant of India’s Tejas fighter could start replacing Russian built MiG-29K jets deployed on board the Indian Navy’s aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and Vikrant which  will be inducted very soon in Indian Navy.

Weighing 23 tonnes, the Navy Twin Engine Deck Based fighter would be significantly larger than the 13.5 ton Tejas Mk-1 fighter which has entered squadron service with the Indian Air Force and the 17.5 ton Tejas Mk-2 which is meant to be inducted into the Indian Air Force from 2030. The fighter would be in the size of the MiG-29K currently being operated by the Indian Navy on its aircraft carrier, the INS Vikramaditya and would have the ability of carrying a weapons payload of nine tonnes. It would feature folding wings to save space on the deck of aircraft carriers. The jet would likely have a top speed in the range of Mach 1.6 or just under 2,000 kilometres per hour.

Both the Navy Twin Engine Deck Based fighter and the Air Force Omni Role Fighter would host several indigenous sensors and avionics which are now at an advanced stage of development. This includes an Active Electronically Scanned Radar (AESA) which can simultaneously track targets in the air and out at sea or over land with great precision. All the fighters would be built with made in India data links and communication systems which would enable the jets in a formation to securely exchange critical sensor information during a mission. A host of made-in-India weapons including long range variant of the Astra air to air missile which has recently completed tests would arm the jets.

Project designers point out that none of the future variants of the Tejas now being studied are a part of the Navy or Air Force’s present procurement plans. ”More than 750 aircraft will need replacement between 2030 and 2050.” By 2040, several older aircraft in service with the Indian Air Force, including the Sukhoi 30MKI, presently the cutting edge, would need to retire. Development of a larger, twin engine variant of the Tejas, designers feel, is an incremental step forward as they simultaneously proceed with the design and development of a made-in-India stealth fighter called the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), both larger, more capable and more expensive than variants of the Tejas. The AMCA is expected to start entering squadron service with the IAF from 2040 if funding is secured.

”A twin engine variant of the Tejas would be in the class of the Rafale – extremely nimble with excellent sensor fusion,” say designers working on the plans for the futuristic fighter. ”The jet would be extremely nimble with excellent sensor fusion. The fact that this would be entirely designed and developed in India would be a huge boost for our ambitions in being an aerospace power.”



Source:- Vayu Aerispace Review

Image Credit:- Harshal Pal

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