SOURCE: IDRW.ORG TEAM
India’s ambitious project to develop a Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) for aircraft carriers is set to take a significant step forward with private sector participation. According to a recent report in the “Economic Times,” the development and production of the TEDBF will be facilitated through Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) companies, with private sector ownership taking a majority stake in these entities. This approach mirrors the one adopted for the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), which is also being developed through an SPV jointly formed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), and private players.
The Cabinet Committee on Security is expected to provide clearance for the TEDBF program by mid-2024. The project received approval in 2020, with the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) slated for completion by early 2024. Subsequently, it is estimated that it will take another 1.5 to 2 years to build the prototype. The first TEDBF prototype is anticipated to make its maiden flight by 2026, with production readiness targeted for 2031. However, some delays, estimated at around 12 months, are expected to affect both of these milestones.
The Indian Navy has expressed the need for approximately 100 TEDBF aircraft, but the initial order is likely to cover only 45 units. These jets will gradually replace the Russian-origin MiG-29K fighter jets in the Navy’s fleet, with the transition expected to commence around 2034-35. The TEDBF project represents a crucial step forward in enhancing India’s indigenous defense capabilities, particularly in the realm of naval aviation.
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