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India's own Twin-Engine Deck-Based Fighter jet prototype by 2028

The TEDBF, which will have the ability to reach Mach 1.6, will replace the Indian Navy's MiG-29K. The TEDBF aircraft is expected to be inducted into the Indian Navy by 2031 or 2032

Made in India Twin-Engine Deck-Based Fighter jet prototype by 2028
First Published Oct 26, 2022, 12:03 PM IST

The preliminary design review of the Twin-Engine Deck-Based Fighter (TEDBF) will be completed by March next year, and the first prototype will be rolled out by 2028, a senior Defence Research and Development Organisation official told Asianet News English. 

The DRDO is also expecting clearance from the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi by June 2023. 

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P Thangavel, project director at DRDO, said: "The layout design is almost over. We are going with high-speed performance to evaluate supersonic aircraft performance. We are going ahead with the available fund for system design. Probably by March, we will have a preliminary design review."

"After PDR, drawings will be made. We expect the CCS clearance by mid-2023. Then we may take 4-4.5 years for first prototype in the current scenario. That's because the naval design is something different."

"Once the prototype comes, the Indian Navy will place a production order with the HAL. It would be the replacement of MiG-29K as it is getting obsolete. By 2031 or 2032, the TEDBF aircraft will be inducted into the Indian Navy," Thangavel added. 

Since the TEDBF is being specifically designed for the Indian Navy, its wings can be folded and modified for catapult launch.

With the ability to reach Mach 1.6 speeds, the TEDBF fighters would be deployed on INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant. The fighter, which will be 16.3 meters in length, will also be a multi-role fighter. The roles include combat air patrol, deck launch interception, air-to-air combat, anti-ship strike, maritime strike, land attack strike, escort jamming and buddy refuelling. 

It will be fitted with Advanced Short-Range Air-to-air Missile (ASRAM) and Astra Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile systems. It will have propulsive thrust from two GE F414 INS6 engines.

Ahead of the commissioning of India's indigenous aircraft carrier -- INS Vikrant -- on September 2, Indian Navy Vice Chief Vice Admiral SN Ghormade had stated that the Navy is looking at Rafale (M) and F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III fighter aircraft for 'interim arrangements'.

The French-origin Rafale (M) and the US-made F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III had successfully conducted trials on INS Vikrant months ago. As per an Indian Navy official, "Evaluation is being done to select the aircraft, and we hope that the decision will be taken earliest." Currently, the Indian Navy operates with Russian-origin MiG-29K.

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