The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), now to be a part of the Indian Naval fleet India’s first indigenous aircraft is all set to make its maiden flight this October.
The aircraft was first developed for the Indian Air force and reworked on to then be included in the naval fleet. A new structural design was required to better able the aircraft to land and take off a carrier. The aircraft has been designed to take off at a distance of 200 meters with a ski jump and land at a distance of 90 meters. The aircraft will use avionic systems, flight controls, and a GE-F404 engine similar to Indian Air Force Light Combat Aircrafts. However, the flight control technology will be redesigned in order to provide a greater reduction in landing approach speeds.
The aircraft will be deployed in 2015 alongside the aircraft carrier being built in the Cochin shipyard. The aircraft is scheduled to take systems integration tests, ground runs, taxi trials and eventually flights before it is deemed ready for deployment. The aircraft has been developed under the Aeronautics program of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and will use a U. S. made machine. It has been designed to make “ski jump” takeoffs and arrested landings on aircraft carriers
The shore-based test facility, at the naval air base in Goa, will rum simulated takeoffs and landing runs for the aircraft. Mr. Antony said that this facility is already being used to train pilots flying the MiG-29K fighter jets, bought from Russia, which are also to be deployed abroad aircraft carriers.
Defense Minister A. K. Antony described the milestone as “memorable”. The chief of Naval Staff Admiral, Nirmal Verma, claims that this would give the navy a multidimensional force capability. Mr. Antony also added, “Using the Army for law and order is always the last resort.” However, the Army would provide security personnel fighting the Maoists with logistics support and training.