ADA’s Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) program for Indian Navy hasn’t seen any official reaction from the Indian Air Force (IAF) yet but was able to get in touch with senior ranked air force official who acknowledged that IAF was aware of the program but still decided to stick with the Medium Weight Fighter (MWF)- Mk 2 showcased at Aero India 2019 earlier this year.

When asked if IAF will be interested in an air force version if ADA offers a spin-off of the TEDBF program, official was non-committal about plans but did say that IAF Top management might consider ordering few units if the aircraft meets IAF’s requirement and if they are delays in the MWF-Mk2 program while TEDBF program sticks to the program schedule of the first flight by 2026.

After the TEDBF program with 24 tonnes, MTOW capabilities was reveled by ADA to be powered by two General Electric F414-GE-IN engine it was speculated that air force version of TEDBF program could have excellent TWR or T/W ratio since it could lose the heavy landing gears and will come with the lighter main fuselage.

IAF requires 201 MWF-Mk2 aircraft over 83 Tejas Mk1A and 40 Tejas Mk1 on order with HAL. ADA already has contracted construction of the first two MWF-Mk2 aircraft to HAL and the first metal cutting for the program will start from February 2020 so that the first aircraft fuselage is put on assembly jig by 2022 for its planned first flight in 2024.


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