Maiden flight of LCA Fighter, Naval Pro­to­type 2


The In­dian Naval Avi­a­tion, car­rier-borne air­craft devel­op­ment pro­gramme LCA (Navy) got an adren­a­line shot in the arm on Fe­bru­ary 7, 2015. The first LCA (Navy) Fighter, Naval Pro­to­type (NP2) made its maiden flight from the Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Ltd, Ben­galuru air­port. The flight was pi­loted by Cap­tain Shiv­nath Dahiya, who is an ex­pe­ri­enced test pi­lot from the In­dian Navy with the Na­tional Flight Test Cen­tre (NFTC). The launch was ac­com­plished un­der teleme­try con­trol ex­er­cised by Test Direc­tor Com­man­der J.D. Ra­turi and Safety Pi­lot Com­modore J.A. Maolankar, the Chief Test Pi­lot of NFTC.

The chase air­craft cover was pro­vided by LSP2 pi­loted by Group Cap­tain Suneet Krishna (Retd) with the Test Direc­tor be­ing Group Cap­tain Prabhu and the Safety Pi­lot be­ing Group Cap­tain R.R. Tyagi. The event marks the growth of in­dige­nous LCA (Navy) pro­gramme, aimed to achieve car­rier com­pat­i­bil­ity tech­nol­ogy demon­stra­tion in­clud­ing ar­rested land­ing and skiJump take-off, ini­tially from the shore-based test fa­cil­ity, Goa.

It ad­dresses sev­eral sys­temic de­fi­cien­cies ob­served whilst mak­ing progress on flight test of Naval Pro­to­type 1. It in­cor­po­rates most avionic hard­ware com­po­nents promised to the cus­tomer, In­dian Navy. Dur­ing de­sign and build NP 2 has been cus­tomised (plug & play) to in­cre­men­tally ac­cept mod­i­fi­ca­tions for car­rier land­ing aids like Lev­con air data com­puter, auto-throt­tle, ex­ter­nal and in­ter­nal an­gle of attack lights. NP 2 is the lead air­craft for ar­restor hook in­te­gra­tion, Derby be­yond vis­ual range mis­sile and tac­ti­cal data link.

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