NEW DELHI, (BM) – By 2026, the Indian company Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd should develop a twin-engine jet carrier-based fighter to supplement or even replace the Russian MiG-29K in the Indian Navy. According to the Defense Aviation Post, the fleet plans to purchase 57 aircraft, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
Read more: India bought single-engine Tejas fighter jets totalling $5,5B
Recall that now the Indian Navy has the only aircraft carrier – Vikramaditya (formerly the Soviet aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov, which underwent modernization after the sale to India).
In addition, at the Cochin Shipyard Ltd, the construction of the first aircraft carrier of its own Indian design, “Vikrant”, continues, but the start of its tests has been repeatedly postponed.
Nevertheless, the Indian naval command does not lose hope that in the coming years the fleet will still be able to have two aircraft carriers. Meanwhile, the naval aviation includes 45 Russian MiG-29K fighters, which replaced the British Sea Harrier aircraft in 2016.
Navy officials say that this number is not enough to form air links on both the Vikramaditya and Vikranta. Earlier, an option was considered with the purchase of American F / A-18E / F “Super Hornet” or French “Rafale-M”.
Details on the technical characteristics of the new aircraft have not yet been disclosed.
Read more: India will receive Rafale fighter jets and deploy them near the border with China
Note that since 2019, India has been testing a carrier-based version of the Tejas fighter of its own design (Tejas, Brilliant), but this is a light single-engine aircraft. The fighter is armed with one 23 mm cannon and equipped with eight suspension points for bombs and missiles with a total weight of 3.5 tons.
The deck version is distinguished by a two-seater cockpit, reinforced landing gear struts and the presence of a landing hook, with the help of which it engages with the air arrestor.
India is already producing its own fighter jet
India already produces multi-purpose fighters and that’s it HAL Tejas. As we wrote in February this year India has bought new single-engine Tejas fighters from the local company HAL as the largest military purchase in recent years.
The total transaction for the purchase of aircraft transactions amounted to $ 5.46 billion. It is noted that initially, an Indian manufacturing company requested $ 7.9 billion for the supply of 83 aircraft.
Tejas single-engine multi-purpose Indian fighters are equipped with an engine with perfect maintainability, an air-to-air refueling system, armed with long-range missiles, and can also carry electronic bombs to “blind” enemy rockets and radars.
Read more: Why India needs the Russian MiG-35 fighters equipped with AI and AESA radar?
HAL Tejas is an Indian single-engine, delta wing, multirole light fighter designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
It came from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters. In 2003, the LCA was officially named “Tejas”.
Tejas has a tail-less compound delta-wing configuration with a single dorsal fin. This provides better high-alpha performance characteristics than conventional wing designs.
Its wing root leading edge has a sweep of 50 degrees, the outer wing leading edge has a sweep of 62.5 degrees, and trailing edge has a forward sweep of four degrees.
It integrates technologies such as relaxed static stability, fly-by-wire flight control system, multi-mode radar, integrated digital avionics system and composite material structures. It is the smallest and lightest in its class of contemporary supersonic combat aircraft.
The Tejas is the second supersonic fighter developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) after the HAL HF-24 Marut. As of 2016, the Tejas Mark 1 was in production for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the naval version was undergoing flight tests for Indian Navy (IN).
The projected requirement for the IAF was 200 single-seat fighters and 20 twin-seat trainers, while the IN expected to operate at least 40 single-seat fighters.
Read more: India will not buy either a Russian MiG-35 or an American F-21
The first Tejas IAF unit, No. 45 Squadron IAF Flying Daggers was formed on 1 July 2016 with two aircraft. Initially stationed at Bangalore, 45 Squadron was later relocated to its home base at Sulur, Tamil Nadu.
The Minister of State for Defence, Subhash Bhamre, reported to parliament that the indigenous content of the Tejas was 59.7% by value and 75.5% by number of line replaceable units in 2016.
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