Naval variant of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas

News: The naval variant of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas has made a successful short landing on the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) in Goa.

Facts:

About Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas:

  • It is a single-engine, delta wing, multirole light fighter.
  • It has been built under the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program, which began in the 1980s to replace India’s aging MiG-21 fighters. It is manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

About naval variant of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas:

  • It has stronger landing gears which can absorb forces exerted by the ski jump ramp during take-off.
  • It has the capability to be airborne within 200m, as against 1000 m required for normal runways.
  • It has special flight control law mode and it also allows hands-free take-off. This reduces the pilot’s workload, as the aircraft leaps from the ramp and then automatically puts the aircraft in an ascending trajectory.
  • The naval LCA Tejas made its first flight in April 2012. Two prototypes have been flying as part of the development. The first prototype (NP1) of the Naval LCA made a successful first flight from the SBTF in 2014.

Additional Information:

Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF): It replicates the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. It is built specifically to train naval pilots in the complex manoeuvres of landing on the short flight deck of an aircraft carrier.

Current status: The Navy currently operates Russian MiG-29K fighters from INS Vikramaditya.

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