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Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) is making remarkable progress in the development of the Twin Engine Deck-Based Fighter (TEDBF) for the Indian Navy. However, the financial outlay for this ambitious endeavor is nearing what it would take to develop the country’s highly anticipated 5th generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).

The TEDBF program, aimed at creating a cutting-edge deck-based fighter jet to serve the Indian Navy, is gaining momentum with each passing phase. ADA, the pioneering agency behind India’s indigenous aircraft development, has been seeking an investment of approximately 14,000 crore rupees to bring the TEDBF to fruition.

The Indian Navy, with a foresight for enhancing its operational capabilities, envisions the induction of these deck-based fighter jets by the year 2032. This strategic move is intended to replace the aging fleet of MiG-29 K fighters. The Navy, with its finger on the pulse of maritime security challenges, has projected a requirement of 45 TEDBF units. However, the ADA believes that the eventual demand for these advanced naval aviators could well surpass the initial projection, possibly reaching around 100 units in the long term.

The TEDBF, designed to operate seamlessly from aircraft carriers, will play a pivotal role in India’s naval air power projection. The aircraft’s twin-engine configuration, advanced avionics, and cutting-edge technologies are poised to redefine naval aviation capabilities, granting India a formidable edge in safeguarding its maritime interests.

As the TEDBF program advances, there is a parallel narrative unfolding on the aerospace horizon. India’s AMCA program, a futuristic endeavor to develop a 5th generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF), is gaining traction. ADA has set its sights on securing a budget of around 15,000 crore rupees for the AMCA program, which has already garnered immense interest for its potential to elevate India’s aerial combat capabilities to unprecedented heights.

The TEDBF program is inching closer to a significant milestone. The Critical Design Review (CDR) of the TEDBF is slated for completion by mid-2024, setting the stage for a pivotal moment in India’s defense aerospace journey. Subsequently, the program will seek clearance from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), a step that holds the key to its further progression.

As the TEDBF program gains momentum, an intriguing possibility looms on the horizon. While the Indian Navy’s commitment to the TEDBF program is unwavering, there are discussions surrounding the potential involvement of the Indian Air Force. While the IAF’s direct participation in the TEDBF program remains a subject of deliberation, the prospect of an Air Force variant of the TEDBF adds an exciting layer to India’s aerospace narrative.

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