LCA Navy goes supersonic
J ust days before the second anniversary of its maiden flight, the naval variant of the light combat aircraft (LCA) Navy (NP-1) has successfully completed its first supersonic flight, signaling that the aircraft is now able to fly faster than the speed of sound. The Bengaluru-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) the nodal agency for the development of the LCA said that this feat was achieved in the month of March.
The NP-1 during the flight is said to have crossed the Mach 1 barrier. This milestone is considered significant as the LCA Navy programme since it made its maiden flight on April 27, 2012, had made little progress. In next one year after its first flight the NP-1 made just four test sorties.
The aircraft to prove that it is fit for carrier-borne operations it would be subjected to ski-jump launch and arresting recovery tests at the naval air station in Goa.
The LCA will replace the depleting Sea Harrier squadron and operate along the MiG-29K’s by 2014 from the indigenous air craft carrier which is being constructed at Kochi. The Government has
already sanctioned limited series production of the LCA Navy under which eight aircraft would be developed.