The TEDBF is a new twin-engine fighter, scheduled to launch before 2026 and can carry a wide range of modern Indian weapons.
The TEDBF’s goal is not only to replace the current 41-MiG-29K fighters squadron, but also to equip new fighters for the IAC-1 Vikrant aircraft carrier. Earlier, the Indian military planned to purchase 57 carrier-based, multi-role aircraft supplied by foreign manufacturers.
According to India, the TEDBF is the shortest development of an aircraft carrier-based fighter jet program in history. India will invest $1.79 billion in the development of three prototypes. The TEDBF is expected to perform multiple roles like combat air patrol, air-to-air combat, anti-ship strike and buddy refueling.
Within six years India will have to complete its aircraft program, which is an ambitious and rather difficult task. However, compared to other defense products, India has accumulated experience in the design of light fighters, in particular the takeoff and landing sections of carrier-based fighters.
India also has experience in aircraft carrier operations, it needs long-range fighters with two engines. This is also the reason why the Indian Navy refused to use the LCA fighter, even though it has completed the process of taking off and landing on the aircraft carrier.
The design of India’s two-engine carrier-based fighter is quite interesting. The TEDBF looks a lot like a Rafale fighter. It appears to be a two-engine version of the LCA-MK2. A similar example is the French Mirage 4000, which is also based on the Mirage 2000 fighter jet.
India’s aviation industry has not developed well in size and capacity, surely the country cannot promote many key defense projects at the same time, so it can only utilize existing technology, which saves considerable time and money. To further enhance its versatility, the TEDBF also inherited the idea for the design of the ORCA fighter, similar to the Rafale and Rafale-M.