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Asia's first SBTF commissioned into Indian Navy at Goa

The SBTF will be used to flight test the MiG-29K fighters from the Navy's newly-inducted aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. A Navy photo

PANAJI (PTI): India joined an elite group of nations when a Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) to flight test naval aircraft from aircraft carriers was commissioned into the Indian Navy at INS Hansa in Goa on Jan. 31.

This is the third such facility in the world, after the United States and Ukraine, a naval official said.

The SBTF is primarily used for flight testing naval aircraft operating from aircraft carriers.

Initially conceptualised for flight testing of Light Combat Aircraft (Navy), the facility was commissioned right in time for training of MiG-29K pilots of the Indian Navy, who are now ready to commence operations from the newly-acquired aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya.

The SBTF has two parts including the Take-off Area with a ski-jump facility and the Landing Area with arresting wire facility, both of which are a replica of INS Vikramaditya, a press release by the Indian Navy said.

This is also being replicated onboard India's first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant being built at Kochi.

With this, the Navy is well placed to transition into a new era of arrested landings onboard carriers and the fulfilment of its dream of operating two carriers simultaneously.

All aids pertaining to flying operations from the deck have also been installed on the SBTF. These aids facilitate aircraft hook to catch the arresting wire for landing.

Built as a state-of-the-art facility, the project was managed by Aeronautical Development Agency in consultation with Indian Navy and built by Goa Shipyard Limited under the supervision of Russian specialists.

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