US aerospace major, Boeing, has again pitched its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet offer to the Indian Navy to win the contract for 57 aircraft carrier-borne fighters floated by the Indian Navy a few years back, but India’s nodal design agency for fighter jet development, Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) has been given go head by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to start work on New Twin Engined Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) which has been backed by Navy.

As per revised carrier-borne fighter requirements now stands at just 20 jets from earlier 57 and going for a new type just for 20 jets might be difficult for Navy to get it approved by MoD and going for more than 20 Mig-29K is also highly unlikely since Navy is not impressed by 45 odd Russian Mig-29K carrier-borne fighter jets which Navy plans to retire from 2034 onwards. has been told, Navy has committed to procure at least 80-100 TEDBF before the program was cleared by MoD, while the Indian Air Force (IAF) is backing the single-Engine Tejas Mk2 program but might eventually go for 50 odd ORCA that is Airforce variant once TEDBF Program achieves key milestone by 2030.

TEDBF will have a Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW) of just under 24 tons and as per ADA for Naval Version and 23.5 tons for the Air force version. TEDBF will accumulate technologies that have been already developed for the Tejas Mk2 and Tejas Mk1A program in addition to the expertise gained from the LCA-Navy program which has demonstrated carrier-borne fighter operations. has been told the rudimentary design of TEDBF showcased to the public in 2019 will see some major design changes when the final design is frozen by end of 2021 and some of the pre-frozen scale models of the fighter jet might be seen at the upcoming Aero India 2021. ADA has promised that the first flight of the first TEDBF Prototype will be achieved by 2026 and by 2029 it will have completed its Carrier trials and will be ready to enter limited production by 2029-30 and full scale by 2034.

To keep TEDBF technologically advance in the 5th generation fighter era, TEDBF will be getting many of the technologies which have been developed for India’s proposed 5.5th Generation AMCA fighter jet program that includes Diverter less supersonic inlet (DSI) to deflect Radar signals ,AI-based Automated Takeoff and Landing from an aircraft carrier and a UTTAM AESA Fire control Radar fine tuned for Naval Operations over the Sea and futuristic military systems like directed energy weapons.

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