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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.

French Navy-owned Rafale-M which is in INS Hansa in Goa for the last two weeks to carry out flight-testing at the shore-based test facility (SBTF) has successfully demonstrated take off with 4 MBDA MICA IR/ EM, 2 2300 L Drop tanks, and 1 Exocet AM39 anti-ship missile.

If results are found satisfactory next round of trials might take place onboard INS Vikramaditya, where it will not only able to demonstrate regular take-offs and landing but also take down to hangar using lifts and perform engine swapping. Boeing re-commenced its F-18 E/F trials on the ski-jump facility in the states and similar trials will likely begin in March at SBTF in Goa said officials familiar with the matter to idrw.org.

Indian Navy needed 57 deck-based fighters for its carrier operations. But the figure is being revised to just 27 now. Indian Navy operates 42 Mig-29K Carrier-based fighter jets but it has plans to replace them by 2035 with TEDBF that ADA along with HAL is developing. The Navy has put forward TEDBF requirement for 100 units for which ADA has asked MoD for sanction of 13000 crores. TEDBF is still at the preliminary design review (PDR) stage and it is expected critical design review (CDR) will be completed by 2024 and the first flight by end of 2026 with production starting in 2031.

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