Happy with Tejas, but eyeing its advanced version, says Navy chief
“Tejas is a very good aircraft. It has been doing well. We bought a few prototypes and they are operating well. We invested in it and it has proved its worth.
KARWAR: The Indian Navy is happy with the indigenous Tejas aircraft, but is eyeing its advanced version -- the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter, which is still under the development stage, said Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar, in an exclusive interview with The New Indian Express.
“Tejas is a very good aircraft. It has been doing well. We bought a few prototypes and they are operating well. We invested in it and it has proved its worth. We are now looking for TEDBF. It has to be made as it suits the Indian Navy requirement,” he said.
TEDBF is a naval version of aircraft, being developed by Hindustan Aeronautical Ltd. The Navy has said 45 of these aircraft will be operating by 2040. The prototypes will be ready by 2026 and the production is likely to begin by 2031-32. The 26-tonne class aircraft, powered by a GE-414 engine will have specifications like foldable wings and is likely to replace MiG 29s.
Asked about the aircraft for the newly commissioned INS Vikrant, Adm Kumar said the aircraft carrier will have MiG 29s at present, but will soon be hosting Rafales, which will be coming soon.
Adm Kumar, who was in Karwar to inaugurate a housing complex in the INS Kadamba Naval Base, said, “It (Karwar) is a smart naval base. It is a very significant one considering the security aspect. Karwar’s economy will prosper as and when the Seabird Naval base develops.
The region will get investments as there will be many defence ancillary units waiting to set up shop. There will be investments in shipbuilding and maintenance. Units contributing to weapon systems will come up soon. The employment opportunity will be more for the locals. There will be more schools, hospitals and shopping areas. Money transactions will begin soon, “he said.
He inaugurated two residential buildings comprising 600 flats at Amadhalli and Arga Naval Base each in the presence of a large number of families of naval personnel and defence civilians. Adm Kumar praised Project Seabird’s efforts in creating high-quality defence infrastructure and urged expeditious completion of remaining facilities.