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Light combat aircraft for Indian Navy to roll out in July


BANGALORE (PTI): India’s first Naval Light Combat Aircraft, considered the most important stage in the Aeronautical Development Agency’s prestigious Naval Programme, is scheduled to roll out on July 6.

Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma would be the Chief Guest at the function which is expected to be attended by all top leaders of the PSUs, private industries and institutions which have supported the programme during its development phase.

“The event ‘Roll-Out’ is a significant milestone when the aircraft is brought out of the HAL ARDC design hangar (where the aircraft is actually assembled part by part), and is now ready to undergo the phase of systems integration tests leading to ground runs, taxi trials and flight,” DRDO said in a statement.

The LCA (Navy) NP1 is the first indigenous effort to build a complete “air element” for the Indian Navy.

The aircraft would be flying with the GE-F-404-IN20 engine and is specifically designed for ski jump take off and Arrested landing, with high landing loads compared to its Air Force counterpart.

“The main aim of LCA (Navy) NP1 and its Fighter counterpart (NP2) is to prove itself with its technologies incorporated as a formidable platform to be a suitable replacement to the aging fleet of Sea Harriers at a later date in a derivative MK2 configuration with a higher thrust engine and optimised mass,” the statement said.

This aircraft, with considerable technology and punch for years to come, is being designed to operate from the future indigenous aircraft carriers the Navy plans to acquire.

The formal sanction by the Government for the naval programme was accorded in 2003. The first stage of development includes design and fabrication of one Trainer and one Fighter, NP1 and NP2 respectively, along with a Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) at Goa, to simulate carrier take off and arrested landing.

A complete airframe called Structural Test Specimen required for structural testing is also being tested as part of the programme.
LCA (Navy) is the only carrier borne aircraft in the light category, and there are no similar aircraft worldwide.

The LCA Navy would be operating with a wide variety of operational role equipment such as the BVR missile, anti-shipping missiles, conventional bombs, air defence guns, CCMs and drop tanks.

Bangalore-based ADA is responsible for the design, development, building, ground testing and flight testing of both the Naval and Air Force versions of the LCA. HAL is the Principal Partner of ADA in this task. Ten prototypes of the Air Force version of the LCA have completed about 1400 flights.

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Indian Navy   LCA  

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