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”.

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