SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) of India, recently cleared Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Indian Navy proposed Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) for a carrier-based fighter jet worth around 13000 crores, which has set the ball rolling to commence design and developmental phase for a new 24.5-tonne fighter jet which will replace Mig-29K fleet from 2032 onwards.
idrw.org has been informed that MOD also has asked Indian Air Force (IAF) to consider an Air force deviate which ADA has proposed based on the TEDBF also called as Omni-Role Combat Aircraft (ORCA) to make the whole program financially viable and also share costs in its development phase which both MOD and Indian Navy will contribute for the marked 13000 cores sought by the ADA for its development.
ADA has proposed Twin-engine Medium Class Omni-Role Combat Aircraft (ORCA) as an Air force deviate for IAF which will be 1.5 tonnes lighter than the TEDBF and will have Maximum take-off weight of 23 tonnes which is still 5.5 tonnes more than the proposed MWF-Tejas Mk2. ORCA psychically will be same and share the same engine and design characters of the TEDBF but will come equipped with Uttam AESA Fire Control Radar (FCR) more fine-tuned for Airforce needs along with other avionics which will be similar to the MWF-Tejas Mk2 raising commonality between two jets to 60% as per information provided to idrw.org.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) recently told the government that “it is committed” to buying nearly 300 indigenously made fighters and basic trainers from the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which included another 10 Squadrons of MWF-Tejas Mk2 and 36 Advance Medium Combat (AMCA) Mk1 fighters along with 83 indigenously made Tejas Mark-1A fighters. ORCA nowhere figured in that list proposed by IAF.
Defense Analysts in India have been calling to cancel fighter jet procurement for 114 jets from foreign manufacture and instead place an order for 36 additional Dassault Rafale and make the rest of the numbers with either MWF-Tejas Mk2 or ORCA. Defense Analysts Ranesh Rajan speaking to idrw.org said that, for IAF to support 4 active fighter jet programs (Tejas Mk1A, Mk2, ORCA, AMCA), it will need to cut its losses and cancel its plans to procure 114 jets from an International OEM so that it can make space for ORCA and AMCA both from 2030 onwards and Private sector participation in the production of this two jets should be must for IAF to get on board.
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