Harsh Vardhan Thakur, Test Pilot with HAL greeted his followers on occasion of New Year along with a render of fighter aircraft from his Twitter account what seems to be a first official render of Twin-engined fighter jet but still leaving many confused and unanswered questions if the render was coming from HAL/ ADA or it was just a fan art due to glaring errors in it.

Render which is similar to the 17.5-ton Medium Weight Fighter (MWF) which India’s Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) is developing and plans to have its first flight by 2023 till the rear engine bay section which shows it in a twin-engine configuration. Instead of MWF or Tejas Mk2, acronyms used on the wings are ” OCRA”. which made many Twitter users wonder if it was the 25-ton Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) program which ADA is developing for the Indian Navy to replace Mig-29K. if it was TEDBF then what is the full form of ” ORCA” ?.

Is ORCA short for ” Omni Role Combat Aircraft”?. If Yes then is it different from the TEDBF program?. Is ORCA just an IAF variant of TEDBF in development for the Indian Navy ?. If ORCA is TEDBF then why it has the mention of HAL and not ADA.

Some of the glaring errors in the render have been that the F-414 engine positions in the rear section are too close to each other and the position of the wings and possible location of the air-intakes makes it look like that engines won’t even have enough room to fit in the rear fuselage. The proposed conformal fuel tank (CFT) configuration in the ORCA is also first to be seen which was never shown in MWF renders.

ORCA features Canards as seen in MWF and also IRST and IFR in almost the same position as seen in the MWF Scale model displayed at Aero India last year. Since the TEDBF program was announced out of the blue many are still wondering what is ORCA program now and if it’s just a proposed or a realistic render of a fighter jet.

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