Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter TEDBF : Aero India 2021
– Prasanth GS
To everyone’s surprise, HAL unveiled a scaled mockup of a stealthy new design of India’s under development Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF), to operate from the current and future Indian Navy Aircraft Carrier.
What is the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter?
TEDBF i.e Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter falls under the medium weight 4.5 generation multi-role aircraft and is being designed and developed under the national Multi-Role Carrier Borne Fighter (MRCBF) programme to complement the current fleet of Indian Navy’s MIG-29K fighters and eventually replace it at the later phase. It will be a twin-engine fighter with the Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 26 Tons and an empty weight of around 11 to 12 Tons designed to take-off from the Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) aircraft carriers, INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant (IAC 1) of the Indian Navy. The first prototype is expected to fly in 2026 if everything goes as planned.
TEDBF Design Features
Unlike the design revealed last year, the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter comes with some new design changes and other improvements during this Aero India which were not in the initial design.
Since the final design is not yet frozen by the Indian Navy, we might see more design refinements in the coming days. Some of the highlights in the new design are Leading Edge Extension (LEX), sharp edged frontal fuselage and Diverterless Supersonic Inlet (DSI). The initial prototypes will come with two General Electric F414 IN6 Turbofan engines each providing a wet thrust of 98kN. By the time it hits the production, IN and GTRE hopes to fly the TEDBF with the indigenous engines. DRDO has signed an MoU with the Rolls Royce and Safran to develop a high trust turbofan engine out of Kaveri.
The TEDBF would host indigenous sensors and avionics which are already developed under the existing Tejas programme and which are under the advanced stage of development for Tejas MK2 and AMCA programmes. It will come with a scaled up UTTAM AESA Radar with the air and ground/sea mode scanning capabilities which is under the final stage of testing. The TEDBF will incorporate advanced sensor fusion technique for better situational awareness and an indigenous data link & communication system for secure communication and exchange of sensor data.
We will take you through the key design features and other features as well.
- Foldable Wing
- Sharp Edged Frontal Fusalage
- Diverterless Supersonic Inlet (DSI)
- Leading Edge Extension (LEX)
The foldable wing is designed considering the dimention of the lifts of both the aircraft carriers. The dimension of the lift in the IAC 1 will 10 x 16 square metres. Also the length of the TEDBF will be 16.3 m and the folded wingspan will be 7.6 m which should comfortably fit on the lift. The foldable wing will allow the IN to accommodate more aircrafts on the carrier both on the deck and inside the hangar.
Sharp Edged Frontal Fuselage
The sharp edged frontal fuselage was the most important highlight of the new design concept. Different from the earlier concept, ADA is trying to bring a near stealth approach to the aircraft by optimizing the radome and the frontal fuselage by revamping completely with sharp edges just like in AMCA and any other 5th generation fighters. During an aerial confrontation with the enemy fighters or their force multipliers (AWACS), this design change will significantly reduce the frontal RCS of the TEDBF in their radars.
Diverterless Supersonic Inlet
TEDBF follows an entirely new air intake from its existing platforms by adopting Diverterless Supersonic Intake (DSI – also known as the bump inlet). AMCA also adopted the DSI for its latest design. The speed of the TEDBF is limited to 1.6 Mach as the DSI is designed to attain a maximum speed of 1.6 Mach. If the aircraft tries to attain more speed, a shock wave enters the engine creating severe vibration which might cause structural damage.
Canards are the small wing section mounted forward to the main delta wing towards the center of the fuselage to provide stability, lift and overall maneuverability to the aircraft. This close coupled canard with LEX will create powerful vortex on the top of the main delta wing.
Leading Edge Extension (LEX)
LEX is a small extension on the aircraft’s wing towards the front leading edge. The idea is to create a vortex above the wing, improve the airflow to delay the stall at high angle of attack.
- Air to Air Combat
- Anti-Ship Strike
- Maritime Strike
- Combat Air Patrol
- Escort Jamming
- Buddy Refuelling
- Land Strike
- Length – 16.3 m
- Unfolded winspan – 11.2 m
- Folded Wingspan – 7.6 m
- Height – 5.3 m
- Crew – 1
- Maximum Take-Off Weight – 26 Tons
- Empty Weight – 12 Tons
- Power Plant – GE F414 IN6 turbofan x 2
- Maximum Speed – 1.6 Mach
- Service Ceiling – 60,000 ft
- G Limit – +8/-3
Possible Weapon Payload (estimated)
- Astra MK1
- Astra MK2
- RUDRAM II
- RUDRAM III
- Spice Series
- Laser Guided Bombs
In case you missed our previous update on TEDBF, you can read it at https://alphadefense.in/tedbf-sneek-peek/