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In an interview, Indian Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar stated that the LCA-Navy program has successfully served as a technological demonstrator, providing valuable data and insights for the development of the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) fighter jet. He further confirmed that work on the TEDBF program is progressing, and the Navy intends to soon present a compelling case for its development to the Defense Ministry.

The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) has estimated that the TEDBF program will require funding between 13,000 and 14,000 crores. The Indian Navy envisions procuring 45 TEDBF units to meet the requirements of a single aircraft carrier. Additionally, the Navy plans to acquire another 45 units for its proposed third aircraft carrier.

The TEDBF is a critical component of the Navy’s modernization efforts, aiming to replace the existing fleet of MiG-29K fighter jets. The new fighter jet is expected to offer enhanced capabilities, including a longer range, heavier payload, and improved manoeuvrability.

LCA-Navy’s Technological Contributions

The LCA-Navy program has played a pivotal role in advancing India’s technological prowess in developing carrier-based fighter jets. The program has successfully tested and validated numerous critical technologies, including:

  • Carrier compatibility: The LCA-Navy has undergone extensive trials to ensure its compatibility with aircraft carrier operations, including take-off, landing, and arrested landings.
  • Fly-by-wire control system: This advanced system provides enhanced control and stability during critical manoeuvres, particularly during carrier landings.
  • High-angle-of-attack (AOA) performance: The LCA-Navy has demonstrated exceptional manoeuvrability at high angles of attack, enabling it to perform tight turns and dogfights.
  • Radar and electronic warfare systems: The LCA-Navy is equipped with state-of-the-art radar and electronic warfare systems, enabling it to detect and engage enemy aircraft effectively.

TEDBF’s Significance for the Indian Navy

The TEDBF program holds immense strategic significance for the Indian Navy, as it will:

  • Strengthen air defence capabilities: The TEDBF’s superior range, payload, and manoeuvrability will significantly enhance the Navy’s air defence capabilities, enabling it to effectively protect its warships and maritime assets.
  • Support power projection: The TEDBF’s ability to operate from aircraft carriers will extend the Navy’s power projection capabilities, allowing it to strike targets far beyond its coastal borders.
  • Boost indigenous defence manufacturing: The TEDBF program will provide a significant boost to India’s indigenous defence manufacturing sector, fostering technological advancements and job creation.

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