The naval version of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) has completed its maiden arrested landing on the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier.
The development comes after the LCA Navy completed extensive trials on the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF).
Developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the fighter LCA Navy made its maiden flight in April 2012. Two prototypes had been flying as part of the development.
In September last year, the LCA made its first short, arrested landing with arrestor wires on the SBTF in Goa.
LCA Navy has been designed with stronger landing gears to absorb forces exerted by the ski jump ramp during take-off and features a flight control law mode that allows hands-free take-off and reduces the workload of the pilot.
At present, the Indian Navy operates Russian MiG-29K fighters from INS Vikramaditya, which will also fly from the first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant once it becomes operational.
Global tenders for 57 carrier-based twin-engine fighter aircraft are currently being evaluated by the navy.
Commodore Jaideep Maolankar carried out the maiden landing, while captain Dahiya served as the Landing Safety Officer (LSO).
Vivek Pandey was the test director on the ship, while Kabadwal and Ankur Jain monitored the aircraft through telemetry from SBTF.
With the completion of this landing, the niche technologies specific to deck based fighter operations have been proven. This will now pave the way to develop and manufacture the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter for the Indian Navy.
The fighter is expected to fly from the aircraft carriers by 2026.
DRDO, Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Indian Navy, Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA) teams are involved in the project.