The decked version of the Indian national perspective light fighter Tejas Navy was first tested on the deck of the Indian Navy Vikramaditya aircraft carrier. This was reported by the press service of the Indian Navy.
According to the report, on January 11 of this year, the second prototype of the deck-mounted version of Naval Tejas made the first landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, located in the Arabian Sea. On January 12, the same aircraft made its first take-off from the springboard of the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya. In both cases, the aircraft was piloted by Commodore Jaydip Maolonkar, who leads the Naval Tejas flight test program.
In September last year, the next tests of the decked version of the Tejas Navy fighter were held on the territory of the Indian Air Force base "Hans" in Goa and were considered successful. Fighter for the first time in its stories made a landing using the air finisher. They preceded the start of testing the aircraft on the deck of an aircraft carrier.
Note that at present in India only the ground version of the Tejas fighter has been adopted. The fighter planned for release in three versions began to be developed back in the 1981 year, however, only the ground version, which was put into service in November 2015 of the year, reached the more or less combat-ready version. After the creation of two prototypes, the combat training version did not go further; two Tejas aircraft were also assembled in the deck version, and it was with them that the tests are carried out.
In the 2016 year, the Indian Navy refused to further develop the Tejas Navy carrier-based fighter, saying that this aircraft does not meet the requirements of the military. The "excessive weight" of Naval Tejas and insufficient thrust-weight ratio led to the fact that the fighter cannot take off with a full supply of fuel and combat load from the aircraft carrier springboard. However, in 2018, work on the project was resumed. 2 On August 2018, the second prototype of the Naval Tejas deck-mounted variant made its first run on the ground-based training and testing complex for deck-based aviation based on the Indian Navy Hansa aircraft in Goa. The program was resumed by the new Minister of Defense of India Nirmala Sithamaran under the Make in India program, contrary to the wishes of the Indian Navy.
Tejas has a length of 13,2 meters and a wingspan of 8,2 meters. An airplane with a maximum take-off mass of 13,5 tons can reach speeds of up to 2,2 thousands of kilometers per hour, and its combat radius is about 500 kilometers. The fighter is armed with one 23 mm caliber gun and eight suspension points. The total mass of the combat load is 3,5 tons. The deck version of the Tejas Navy differs from the ground-based double cabin, reinforced landing gear and the presence of a landing hook.
In 2019, DRDO and ADA proposed a radically redesigned version of the Naval Tejas Mk 2 in a twin-engine configuration (two General Electric F414 engines). Subject to the approval of the project and its financing, the first flight of the TEDBF prototype is promised in 2026, while the development of the aircraft is supposed to be carried out in parallel with the Indian Navy's program for the purchase of 57 foreign carrier-based fighters. The outlook for TEDBF is uncertain.