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On the sidelines of the decommissioning ceremony of the last IL-38SD Sea Dragon Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft from operational service at India’s largest naval aviation base, INS Hansa, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar, made an important announcement. He revealed that the prototype of the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF), designed to operate from Indian Navy aircraft carriers, is set to be completed within the next four to five years.

The TEDBF represents a pivotal leap in India’s naval aviation endeavours. It is designed as a canard delta wing, twin-engine, carrier-based, multirole combat aircraft and is currently under development by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). The manufacturing process for this cutting-edge aircraft will be handled by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a premier Indian aerospace and defence company.

The TEDBF program’s objectives align with India’s vision of modernizing its naval aviation fleet. It is anticipated that the TEDBF will ultimately replace the ageing MiG-29K aircraft currently deployed on the aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and the newly commissioned INS Vikrant.

The TEDBF’s development and production are poised to bolster the Indian Navy’s operational capabilities significantly. These aircraft will be instrumental in safeguarding India’s maritime interests and strengthening its presence in the strategically vital Indian Ocean region. Once operational, the TEDBF will join the ranks of the most advanced carrier-based combat aircraft, providing the Indian Navy with a potent tool to meet the challenges of the 21st century’s evolving security landscape.

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