Rabu, Juli 07, 2010

India Begins Testing Naval LCA

NEW DELHI - Defence Minister A.K. Antony was present July 6 when India tested the first prototype of its naval Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) on the ground in Bangalore.

The two-seat naval version of the indigenously developed trainer will now undergo extensive systems integration tests, ground runs and taxi trials before making its first flight later this year, a senior Indian Navy officer said. Another variant of the aircraft will roll out next year. The naval LCA is scheduled to be inducted in the Indian navy in 2015.

Designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency, Bangalore, and the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the naval LCA is equipped to operate from an aircraft carrier with ski-jump takeoff and arrested recovery. Its structure and landing gear have been modified from the existing Air Force version to cater to larger loads and arrested-recovery landings.

The Indian Navy last year placed an order for six naval LCAs and has committed to pay about $30 million for each.

The naval LCA is a small, tailless, multirole supersonic fighter aircraft. It will be deployed on the Air Defence Ship, India's indigenously built aircraft carrier, which is due to enter Navy service in 2014-15.

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