First Prototype of Indian Made Naval Fighter LCA Navy Completes First Ski-Jump Test

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Naval Forces News - India
 
 
 
First Prototype of Indian Made Naval Fighter LCA Navy Completes First Ski-Jump Test
 
The first prototype of India's indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas in its naval version — LCA NP1 — completed its maiden flight as part of the carrier compatibility tests off the shore-based test facility (SBTF) at the INS Hansa naval air station in Goa on December 20th. According to a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) statement the aircraft had a perfect flight with results matching the predicted ones to the letter.
     
The first prototype of India's indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas in its naval version — LCA NP1 — completed its maiden flight as part of the carrier compatibility tests off the shore-based test facility (SBTF) at the INS Hansa naval air station in Goa on December 20th. According to a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) statement the aircraft had a perfect flight with results matching the predicted ones to the letter.
LCA Navy first launch from a ski-jump at SBTF
     
Dr Avinash Chander, SA to RM, Secretary DDR&D DG DRDO congratulated the LCA Navy program team and said, "With today's copybook flight of LCA-Navy from the land based ski-jump facility we see our own indigenous combat aircrafts soon flying from the decks of our aircraft carriers.” Congratulating the team Dr Tamilmani, DS & DG Aeronautics, said “A complex task of Ski Jump of NP1 Executed beautifully”.

According to HAL (the manufacturer), the LCA Tejas is a single engined, light weight, highly agile, multi-role supersonic fighter. It has quadruplex digital fly-by-wire Flight Control System (FCS) with associated advanced flight control laws. The aircraft with delta wing is designed for ‘air combat’ and ‘offensive air support’ with ‘reconnaissance’ and ‘anti-ship’ as its secondary roles. Extensive use of advanced composites in the airframe gives a high strength to weight ratio, long fatigue life and low radar signatures
     
Video: LCA Navy first launch from a ski-jump at SBTF
     
LCA (Navy) is designed with stronger landing gears to absorb forces exerted by the ski jump ramp during take-off, to be airborne within 200 m as against 1000m required for normal runways. It’s special flight control law mode allows hands-free take-off relieving the pilot workload, as the aircraft leaps from the ramp and automatically puts the aircraft in an ascending trajectory. The maiden successful, picture perfect launch of NP1 from ski jump at Shore Based Test Facility at Goa is a testimony to the tremendous efforts put in by scientists and engineers to design the Naval aircraft, its simulator (that helps pilots to know well in advance how the aircraft will behave on ski jump) and the flight test team that timed the whole event to near perfection. It can be stated with conviction “The indigenous Indian Naval Carrier Borne Aviation program has been launched, literally from the Ski-Jump".

The LCA Navy program team of ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) is jubilant on achieving the remarkable feat that is the culmination of several years of design, flight test, simulation and management effort with significant contributions from a number of DRDO laboratories. The teams were ably supported by the certification agency, CEMILAC and the quality assurance agency, CRI (LCA). INS Hansa, the Naval Air Station played the perfect host to achieve this significant milestone. The design teams guided by Program Director ADA Shri P S Subramanyam have ensured that all systems meet the stringent requirements of Carrier borne aircraft. Cmde C D Balaji (Retd) as Project Director LCA (Navy) and it’s Chief Designer has been at the helm of affairs right from the concept phase. The team led by Dr Amitabh Saraf indigenously achieved the flight control laws that take care of the problems encountered by a fly by wire aircraft undertaking a Ski Jump Launch.

The Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) has been created to replicate the aircraft carrier with a Ski Jump for take-off and arresting gear cable for arrested landing; by ADA with the participation of the Indian Navy, Goa shipyard, CCE (R&D) West, Pune, R&D Engg (E) Pune and the Russian agencies providing the design support and specialized equipment.
 

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