The Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar, announced that the prototype of the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF), intended for Indian Navy aircraft carriers, will be ready within the next four to five years. Once in production, the TEDBF is set to significantly enhance the Indian Navy’s maritime capabilities. In the interim, the imported Rafale Marine fighters will help fill the fighter aircraft gap on the carriers.
The Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) is an indigenous project designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and will be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). This canard delta wing, twin-engine, multirole combat aircraft is intended for carrier-based operations and is expected to replace the ageing MiG-29K fighters on the INS Vikramaditya and the upcoming INS Vikrant.
Key Features of The TEDBF For Enhanced Carrier Operations
The HAL Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) is a canard delta wing, twin-engine, carrier-based, multirole combat aircraft currently under development for the Indian Navy. The TEDBF is being designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and will be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It is intended to perform various missions, including air supremacy, air interdiction, anti-access/area denial (A2/AD), anti-ship warfare (ASW), and electronic warfare (EW) missions. The TEDBF is expected to replace the Mikoyan MiG-29K onboard the INS Vikramaditya and the INS Vikrant.
The program was officially announced in 2020, responding to the Indian Navy’s need for a more capable carrier-based fighter, following its withdrawal from the naval LCA program based on the HAL Tejas in 2016. A model of the aircraft was showcased at Aero India 2021. The first flight is anticipated in 2026, with production slated for 2031.
The TEDBF’s twin engines will enable shorter take-offs from the Indian Navy’s Short Take-Off Barrier Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) aircraft carriers. Designed specifically for carrier-based operations, the TEDBF will feature foldable wings for more compact storage, enhancing the flexibility of carrier operations. The aircraft will predominantly feature indigenous weapon systems, underscoring India’s push for self-reliance in defence technology.