India launches the development of a new on-board combat aircraft, further complicating its prospects for modernization

India is known for the complexity and slowness of its aeronautical defense programs. In a previous file, we returned in particular to the incredible soap opera MRCA, which has promised for more than twenty years to modernize the Indian air force and which could still experience several years of catastrophic delays. In such a context, the Indian Navy had rather appeared as a good student in recent years, with relevant aircraft purchases and relatively quick deliveries, including for helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft.

Unfortunately, the rapid growth of Indian naval aviation has ultimately drawn the Indian Navy irreparably into the political maelstroms surrounding the national aviation industry. In a context of economic crisis and emphasis on “Make In India”, the arguments of the Indian Navy in favor of a rapid acquisition of foreign twin-engine planes ended up turning against it. Indeed, according to Indian sources, the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) of the Ministry of Defense is said to have officially launched the development of a new twin-engine naval aircraft, the TEDBF (Twin Engine Deck-Based Fighter).

The TEDBF is also offered to the Indian Air Force, under the designation ORCA. But the IAF is struggling to agree to finance such a project, even though it already has more efficient Rafale, a more promising MMRCA 2 program, and a more ambitious AMCA stealth project.

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