AMERICAN F-18 AND FRENCH RAFALE WILL BE INTERIM; INDIGENOUS TWIN ENGINE DECK BASED FIGHTER (TEDBF) IS FUTURE SAYS NAVY

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New Delhi: The Indian Navy requires fighter jets for its aircraft carrier operations for which it has carried out trials of the French Rafale and American F-18 aircraft.

In a press conference on indigenisation in the Navy, the Navy Vice Chief Admiral SN Ghormade said trials of the American and French aircraft have been done to know their capability for aircraft carrier operations.

“Trials of Rafale and Boeing F-18 have done to prove their capability of operating from aircraft carriers. Our aim is indigenisation. We have a Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) aircraft plan but it will take some time. By the time that indigenous project takes place, we are looking at buying aircraft from foreign sources under Inter-Governmental Agreement,” he said.

The Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) is a developmental program of the Defence Research and Development Organisation and it would be the advanced version of the Naval Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), TEJAS.

The Navy had earlier plans of buying 57 fighters under the plan to buy aircraft from foreign sources but now that requirement has been cut down by more than half.

Answering a query on by when the Indian Navy would be able to make conventional submarines on its own, the Navy Chief said, “We want to encourage indigenisation here. The idea is that we develop some capabilities here and build capabilities for indigenisation for the future.”

“We are continuing with Project 75 India,” Ghormade said on the current status of Project 75 India.

Indian Navy has plans of building six modern conventional submarines under Project 75 India, a Rs 60,000 crore project.

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