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.

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