Tejas successfully makes 'arrested landing' at Goa

This landmark event has demonstrated the synergy between various agencies including ADA, HAL, CEMILAC and Indian Navy in harnessing the potential of our scientists, engineers, workmen  and naval flight testing community towards meeting the expectations of the nation. (Navy spokesperson Twitter Image)

The indigenous naval combat aircraft LCA Navy crossed a milestone on Friday when it executed its first successful “arrested landing”, on a shore-based testing facility in Goa, paving the way for its future trial on the aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya.

Though it may take several months and dozens of sorties before LCA-Navy finally lands on the deck of the carrier, the first successful trapping engagement in landing is a big step forward for the indigenous aircraft, whose death knell was almost sounded by then Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba more than two years ago.

Admiral Lanba had stated that though Indian Navy supported the programme, the indigenous fighter was not good enough for its proposed aircraft carrier (IAC-1), which Navy planned to construct in India.

However, the Navy also maintained that it would continue to support the research and development activities of LCA Navy, with the hope that the home-grown naval fighter will be combat ready in future.

“It is a golden letter day in the history of Indian naval aviation. The first ever arrested landing of LCA (Navy) at the shore-based test facility at INS Hansa will pave the way for the indigenous platform to undertake an aircraft carrier landing demonstration on board INS Vikramaditya,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

The flight test team led by Cmde J A Maolankar (Chief Test Pilot), Capt Shivnath Dahiya and Cdr J D Raturi (Test Director) successfully executed the text book arrested landing.

The SBTF at the naval base mimics the deck of an aircraft carrier, where the combat jet pilots flew in with full speed for the arrested landing gets only few seconds to get the powerful aircraft hooked with the arrester wire. In case of a failure, the pilot takes off again.

“We hope to complete all activities and flight trials of LCA-Navy Mark-1 by 2020. Simultaneously we are working on LCA Navy Mark-II,” G Sateesh Reddy, chairman, Defence Research and Development Organisation told DH in a recent interview

The first prototype of LCA Navy flew in December 2014 while the second prototype took to the skies in February 2015. The second aircraft addressed several deficiencies that Hindustan Aeronautics Limited claimed was associated with the first one.

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