India will induct the country’s first indigenous naval light combat aircraft (LCA), the NP1, on 6 July 2010 at the HAL Aircraft Research and Design Centre design hangar in Bangalore.

After the induction, the Hindustan Aeronautics-built NP1 will undergo systems integration tests, ground runs, taxi trials and flight tests, with a maiden flight scheduled for before the end of 2010.

The LCA features several state-of-the-art technologies and is specifically designed to operate from the future indigenous aircraft carriers planned to be acquired by the Indian Navy.

NP1 is capable of ski jump take-off and arrested landing and will be equipped with a wide range of operational weapons including beyond visual range missiles, anti-ship missiles, conventional bombs, air defence guns, conventional cruise missiles and drop tanks.

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By GlobalData

The first stage of LCA Navy programme includes design and manufacture of one trainer NP1 and one fighter NP2 aircraft along with a shore-based test facility (SBTF) in Goa to simulate carrier take-off and arrested landing of the aircraft.

The NP2 fighter aircraft is scheduled to complete its maiden missions systems flight by the end of 2011.