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The Indian Navy’s quest for a new carrier-borne fighter jet, the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF), is making steady progress, albeit with adjustments to the original timeline. The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) is spearheading the development, aiming to replace the ageing MiG-29K fleet on aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant.

The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) is working diligently to complete the Critical Design Review (CDR) for all TEDBF systems by early 2025. This review signifies a crucial stage in the design process, ensuring all systems meet performance and integration requirements.

After considering two initial design proposals, the Indian Navy has approved one design. The ADA is now focused on finalizing the chosen design through the CDR process. Following the successful CDR, the TEDBF program will be presented for final approval by the Navy and subsequently to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for funding authorization.

Upon receiving CCS clearance, the first TEDBF aircraft is expected to roll out in four years, with the program entering service by 2034. The original target of a first flight by 2026 is likely to be pushed back to late 2029 or early 2030s.

The Indian Navy has committed to a two-batch procurement plan, with 45 units in each batch. The initial prototypes will likely be powered by GE-F414 engines. However, the production variant, particularly for the second batch, might utilize a newer 110kN engine being developed for the AMCA Mk-II program.

The ADA is expected to seek nearly ?13,000 crores for funding the TEDBF program. The TEDBF program is crucial for the Indian Navy as it seeks to replace its ageing MiG-29K fighter jets onboard its aircraft carriers. The successful development and deployment of the TEDBF will equip the Indian Navy with a modern, indigenously developed carrier-based fighter jet, bolstering its maritime security capabilities.

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