SOURCE: SATYAJEET KUMAR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
The era of fighter bombers will end when the Indian Air Force retires its Jaguar fighter fleet from its service in 2035. Mirage-2000 has been the Choice of aircraft that will play the role of delivering nukes if that day ever comes but the fleet won’t be their long enough and might be completely gone by 2035 onwards.
In 2010, The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) submitted a proposal to the Defence Ministry for setting up two dedicated squadrons of fighter aircraft which will act as Mini-Air Force.
SFC back then was looking for an aircraft that has endurance and range to carry out long-run missions and that can stay in the air waiting for final command in case of war is heading towards a nuclear end. SFC seemed interested in Su-30MKI due to its long-range mission capabilities but the command was also worried about its huge radar cross section and its inability to remain low-key in hostile airspace, which won’t make it a great Tactical Fighter bomber for nuke-delivering missions.
TEDBF is a 26.5-tonne monster of an aircraft that will be India’s biggest fighter jet that will be developed to meet the requirements of the Indian Navy for its air operations from the aircraft carrier. TEDBF inherits the design of a low observable frontal section and also can stay longer in the air, being a naval aircraft it is also designed to fly low over oceans or at tree-top levels to avoid being detected and also will have excellent low-speed maneuvering characteristics that are essentials for its operations from the small decks of the aircraft carrier that can also be a great advantage for operations from small airfields.
TEDBF in a modified form can be made to accommodate Air-Launched Nuclear Tipped Ballistic missiles or Guided weapons to be used as fighter bombers in non-nuclear roles under the supervision of the IAF. IAF sure will induct Tejas Mark 2 and AMCA in large numbers to be used as Omni-Role /Multi-Role fighter jets that will be used for fighter battles over contested airspace and also to take out ground-based targets. but TEDBF due to its high Weapons load capabilities and even higher MTOW capabilities does bring some advantages over them so that it can be utilized as a Nuclear Carrier or as Tactical Fighter Bomber that steps in for the Jaguar Bomber fleet once retired.
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