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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Indian Air Force (IAF) Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria who is set to retire by September end, in a meeting with his counterpart, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh recently suggested that the Navy should back the development of Naval AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft), which is the fifth generation deck based fighter jet variant over the now proposed Twin-Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) concept that was showcased for the first time at the Aero India 2021 as per informed sources close to idrw.org.

In 2016, Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) and the Indian Navy had held talks for the development of a deck based 5th gen fighter jet based on the AMCA concept but after flexibility studies and deliberation held after submitting of its findings, it was settled that the Navy will instead go for clean slate 4.5 generation TEDBF program instead of going for the development of deck based variant based on the AMCA.

ADE had pointed out bigger challenges that were involved in the development of the deck-based fighter variant of AMCA and the lack of mature technologies to back the program, as of the reasons why TEDBF was proposed. ADE-Navy also had cited a highly compromised payload capacity of the jet that in order to maintain its low radar cross-section and low clearance of the internal carriage as one of the few reasons why plans to develop a AMCA variant for Navy was dropped and instead a 4.5gen TEDBF made more sense in terms of operational capability and due to technology in hand.

IAF earlier had turned down the development of the Omni-Role Combat Aircraft (ORCA), a proposed land-based variant of the Twin-Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) concept and had decided to back the development of the LCA MkII and AMCA Mk1 and Mk2 Program to replace major chuck of the present 4.5Gen fighter jets from its fleet from 2030 onwards.

idrw.org has been told that the Navy is warming up to the ideas of operating a 5th generation platform eventually, it’s that it is not clear if it will be Naval-AMCA for non deck-based operations or a 5th gen variant of the TEDBF that will be developed at later stages. Since this is still a revolving scenario and many deliberations might happen before its clear what will be proposed after TEDBF, at least for time being, Navy is backing the development of TEDBF that will see its first flight by 2026.

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