Courtesy:- Kuntal Biswas

Indian Air Force (IAF) was recently told to study the proposed Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) project cleared for the Indian Navy to be designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and join to develop a spin-off air force variant of the jet minus the Naval engineered landing gear and tail section for aircraft carrier operations, but senior officials of the IAF seems to suggest that they have other plans regarding joining the TEDBF bandwagon.

Senior IAF official close to has informed that Top management is not too keen on the TEDBF program and will allow Navy to be lead program agency along with ADA/HAL in the TEDBF and wants to continue its focus on the Tejas Mk2 and AMCA programs and will not join TEDBF program initially because it will be easier to develop Air force version than a Naval version and if need be arise IAF can fund the development of air force variant at a later stage.

IAF top management sees AMCA Mk1 has a better option in 2030 when TEDBF and AMCA Mk1 are supposed to be ready and enter initial production. IAF has committed to procure Two squadrons of AMCA Mk1 powered by the F-414INS6 engines in IOC configuration and Six squadrons of Tejas Mk2 which will see the production order of another six squadrons of Tejas Mk2 with upgraded 5th generation avionics. Tejas Mk2 will also get upgraded Block-II version with AMCA Avionics or IAF might simply agree to procure TEDBF instead is what IAF will decide probably in 2030.

AMCA Mk2 which will be 5.5 generation fighter jet will enter production in 2035 onwards powered by a higher 110kN thrust engine which India plans to develop with a foreign aero engine partner. India is willing to commit to locally manufacture nearly 1000+ engines for both AMCA Mk2 and Tejas Mk2 program which will get these engines for the second six squadrons of Tejas Mk2 with upgraded 5th generation avionics or it will eventually come to Tejas Mk2 Block-I when its due for engine change probably in 10 years after induction in 2040-45 onwards. 

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