Cutbacks in MRFA and MRCBF by IAF & Navy boosts Indian Fighter Jet Program

After the Indian Navy reduced its requirements for Multirole Carrier Borne Fighters (MRCBF) tender from 57 to just 26, the Indian Air Force is also looking at reducing its requirements under the Multi Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) tender to just 57 from 114 units, which will be seen as a clear sign and as a major boost to the development of Indian Fighter Jet Program that are underway in the country.

India’s Tejas Mk2 already has entered the fabrication stage with a rollout planned this year and the first flight planned sometime in 2023. Tejas Mk2 will fill the void left by the Mirage 2000, Jaguars, and MiG-29 fleet when they are retired from service from 2035 onwards.

The reduction in requirements under the MRCBF tender also confirms the Navy’s firm backing to the development of the indigenous Carrier Borne Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF), that is undergoing Critical Design Review and will be replacing the accident prone MiG-29K fleet from 2035 onwards while also supplementing 26 F-18 or Rafale onboard Indian Navy operated aircraft carrier.

ADA is already working on the development of a Catapult Assisted Take Off But Arrested Recovery variant for India’s second aircraft carrier.

A big leap for the Indian aerial firepower will come when India starts inducting 5th Generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) from 2030 onwards. IAF already has committed to procuring 120 jets from 2030 onwards that will see the development of Mk1 and Mk2 variants with improved engines and technologies.

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