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.

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.