Small step for LCA (Navy), a giant leap for Indian naval aviation
It was a defining moment when LCA (Navy) Prototype 1 (NP1), the first indigenously designed and developed fourth-plus generation combat aircraft designed to operate from the decks of aircraft carriers, took-off majestically from ski-jump facility of shorebased test facility at INS Hansa in Goa recently.
Piloted by Commodore Jaideep Maolankar, the Chief Test Pilot of National Flight Test Centre, the aircraft had a perfect flight with results matching the predicted ones to the letter. The launch was orchestrated by the Test Director Cdr J.D. Raturi and Safety Pilot Capt Shivnath Dahiya supported by Group Capt Anoop Kabadwal, Group Capt R.R. Tyagi and Lt Cdr Vivek Pandey. The readiness and availability of aircraft for the event was made possible through the relentless effort of HAL, ARDC under the aegis of P.S. Roy, the Executive Director.
Dr Avinash Chander, Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri and Secretary DDR&D, DG DRDO, congratulated the LCA (Navy) programme team and said, “With today’s copybook flight of LCA (Navy), from the land-based ski-jump facility we see our own indigenous combat aircrafts soon flying from the decks of our aircraft carriers.” Congratulating the team Dr Tamilmani, DS & DG Aeronautics, said: “A complex task of ski-jump of NP1 executed beautifully”.