New Delhi: By the success trial of landings of the Tejas-N fighter on board the Navy aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) has given to go ahead for the development of a twin engine made-in-India fighter jet. The development phase is expected to cost between Rs 7,000 and Rs 8,000 crore.
NDTV has learnt that the development of this aircraft was discussed on May 22 at ADA’s Annual General Body meet, its highest governing body. The meeting was chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and was attended by the Navy and Air Force Chiefs. Subsequent to this meeting, the Operational Requirements (ORs) for the new fighter were issued by the Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy).
Development of the new fighter jet comes at the time when the government announced a series of structural reforms in the Defence sector under the “Atmanirbhar” or self-reliance goal which is meant to result in India dramatically cutting down on its defence imports.
The prototype of the new fighter-jet, designed to operate from the deck of India’s two aircraft carriers, INS Vikramaditya and the soon to be inducted INS Vikrant, is meant to fly within six years with induction of the fighter within a decade.
The fighter, plans for which were first reported in January, is a twin-engine evolution of Tejas-N prototype which has been indigenously developed and extensively test-flown.
The Tejas-N programme culminated with a series of “arrested landings” and take-offs from INS Vikramaditya off the Goa coast where two prototypes of the jet were able to successfully land on the carrier in January by using its arrestor hook to snare steel wires spread across the deck of the ship. This allowed the fighters to decelerate from approximately 244 kmph (the landing speed) to a standstill in approximately two seconds in a distance under 90 metres, within the length of the deck of INS Vikramaditya.