Three New Fighter Jets | 06 Feb 2021

Why in News

According to the Ministry of Defence, three new fighter jets will be flying by 2026, of which two will be for the Air Force and one for the Navy.

  • This includes a new LCA (the Mk-2 version) and AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft) for the Air Force and the TEDBF (Twin-Engine Deck-Based Fighter) for the Navy.
  • Earlier, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had cleared a deal worth Rs. 48,000 crore for the acquisition of 83 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (Mk-1A and Mk-1 versions) for the Indian Air Force.

Key Points

  • Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk-2:
    • About:
      • It is a 4.5 generation aircraft which will be used by the Indian Air Force.
      • It is a replacement for the Mirage 2000 class of aircraft.
        • It has got a bigger engine and can carry 6.5 tonnes of payload.
      • The technology is already developed in Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
        • The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme began in the 1980s to replace India's ageing MiG-21 fighters.
        • Following the Mk-1A is the Mk-2 which will provide a high degree of manoeuverability.
    • Production:
      • The roll-out is planned for 2022 and first flight by 2023 and production of the Mk-2 version by 2026.
  • AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft):
    • About:
      • It is a fifth generation aircraft. And will be used by the Indian Air Force.
      • It is a stealth aircraft, i.e. designed for stealth and unlike the LCA, which is designed for maneuverability.
        • It has a unique shape to achieve low radar cross-section and has got internal carriage of weapons.
        • When the external weapons are removed, this aircraft has enough fuel and weapons inside to do a very capable operational role in stealth mode.
    • Range:
      • It will have a range from over 1,000 km up to 3,000 km in different modes.
    • Variants and Engine:
      • It has two variants Mk-1 and Mk-2, While AMCA Mk-1 will have an imported engine, same as LCA Mk-2, the AMCA Mk-2 will have an indigenous engine.
    • Production:
      • The first flight is expected in 2024-25, followed by trials and tests. It will be in full production by 2029.
  • Twin-Engine Deck-Based Fighter (TEDBF):
    • About:
      • This fighter will be manufactured for the Navy.
      • It will replace the Navy's MiG-29K.
      • It will be the first twin engine aircraft project in India that too for dedicated carrier based operations.
      • It will operate from the INS Vikramaditya and the upcoming indigenous aircraft carrier.
    • Weapons:
      • The aircraft will be equipped predominantly with domestic weapons.
    • Size and Capacity:
      • It will have a maximum mach number of 1.6, service ceiling of 60,000 feet, maximum take off weight of 26 tons, unfolded wing span of 11.2 meters, folded wing span of 7.2 and and a length of 16.3 meters.
    • Engine:
      • While the engine configuration has not been disclosed, it could well use the same engines that power the LCA Tejas aircraft.
    • Induction:
      • It will be induced in the Navy by 2030.

INS Vikramaditya

  • INS Vikramaditya is the country’s most powerful aircraft carrier.
  • It was built in 1987.
  • The Indian navy purchased the vessel in 2004 and commissioned it in November 2013 at Severodvinsk in Russia.
  • It was retrofitted with a Barak missile system under joint development with Israel.