Mar 31, 2014
Naval variant of LCA Tejas to undergo tests in Goa soon
The shore-based test facility is primarily a ramp - similar to the ones on aircraft carriers - which facilitates ski-jump take-off and arrested landing of a naval aircraft. The aircraft will go to the test facility in a month's time.
Apart from enabling carrier compatibility, the new facility will aid certification of the LCA naval variant, for induction of the LCAin the Indian Navy.
The LCA (Navy) is India's first indigenous effort to build a carrier-borne naval fighter aircraft. It is designed to operate from future indigenous aircraft carriers that the Indian Navy plans to acquire.
LCA programme, which was launched in 1980 as part of the plan to replace the Indian Air Force's fleet of MIG-21 aircraft.
In December 2013, the IAF gave its operational clearance to the LCA Air Force variant and also cleared the same for full-scale production. It's expected the aircraft to be rolled out for induction into the Air Force later this year.
The IAF has placed an initial order of 40 LCAs which are to be delivered over the next four to five years. There are commitment for another 80 to 90 LCAs in future. The Air Force and Navy collectively require 200 LCAs.
The LCA had also evinced keen interest from foreign countries, but the priority for now is to enhance the production capacity and to continue working on the LCA Mk-II variant, which is expected to go operational in four to five years.
Apart from enabling carrier compatibility, the new shore-based test facility will aid certification of the LCA naval variant, which is critical to the LCA's future induction in the Indian Navy.