India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas has conducted an arrested landing, an essential capability that will eventually enable the naval variant to operate from an aircraft carrier.
The flight test was carried out at INS Hansa Goa, the shore-based test facility of the Indian navy.
A twin-seater variant was used for the test, although only one pilot, Commodore JA Maolankar, flew the sortie.
The LCA achieved the critical milestone following several years of flight testing and four campaigns of dedicated testing at the Goa facility.
Several Indian agencies, including the scientific community Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), HAL (ARDC), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), and CSIR Labs are associated with the programme.
With the successful test, India now joins a select group of countries with the ability to design a deck landing aircraft.
The Indian Ministry of Defence said in a statement: “Today, the first-ever arrested landing of LCA (navy) at the shore-based test facility, INS Hansa Goa took place, which will pave the way for this indigenous platform to undertake aircraft carrier landing demonstration on board the Indian naval aircraft carrier, Vikramaditya.”
DRDO officials told The Economic Times that the data from the flight test will now be assessed.
Similar tests with different parameters will be conducted under a programme that will eventually test the LCA (Navy) on an aircraft carrier.
Last year, the Indian Navy carried out a series of tests to assess the deck landing capability of LCA (Navy) at INS Hansa.