In what could be called as a boost to the Centre’s pitch to go ‘vocal for local’, the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) recently approved the development of a twin-engine made-in-India fighter jet, following the successful trial landing of the Tejas-N fighter onboard INS Vikramaditya, reported NDTV.
According to the report, the operational requirement (ORs) for the new fighter jet were issued by the Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence recently after the governing body of ADA met Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the Navy and Air Force chiefs.
The fighter jet is designed to operate from the deck of INS Vikramaditya and soon-to-be-inducted INS Vikrant within six years with the induction of the fighter within a decade.
The fighter when inducted will add to the Indian Navy’s fleet of MiG-29K fighters and eventually replace them. It is touted to be more reliable than MiG-29K which has had serviceability issues in the past.
The performance characteristics of the jet have been benchmarked to that of Boeing’s F/A-18 E/F “Super Hornet” used by the US Navy and the Marine Rafale, deployed by the French Navy aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.
The report said currently three designs of the fighter jet are being studied while it is yet to be decided if it will be a tail-less delta platform, similar to the Indian Air Force’s LCA Tejas fighter.
The fighter can be armed with at least six air to air missiles with an operational endurance of approximately two hours.