First-ever arrested landing of LCA
DRDO and ADA on 13 September 2019 successfully executed the first-ever arrested landing of Light Combat Aircraft (Navy) at a shore-based facility, INS Hansa in Goa, inching closer to the goal of operating from an aircraft carrier. The LCA (Navy) is the naval version of indigenously developed Tejas fighter aircraft being developed for the Indian Air Force. The successful execution of arrested landing will pave the way for this indigenous platform to undertake Aircraft Carrier landing demonstration onboard the Indian Naval Aircraft Carrier, Vikramaditya.
- Indian Navy needs several fighter jets for its future aircraft carriers including named INS Vikrant, which is under advanced stages of construction.
- On April 20 this year, the then Navy Chief, Admiral Sunil Lanba had said IAC-1 or INS Vikrant will be delivered to Indian Navy by 2021. The Navy hopes to have a third aircraft carrier in the near future to counter China's growing might in the Indian Ocean region.
- After several years of flight testing and four campaigns of dedicated testing at Shore Based Test facility Goa, the LCA (Navy) Flight Test Team led by Cmde J A Maolankar (Chief Test Pilot), Capt Shivnath Dahiya (LSO) and Cdr J D Raturi (Test Director) successfully executed a "textbook" arrested landing.
- This arrested landing heralds the arrival of true indigenous capability and displays the professional prowess of our scientific community Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) embedded with design plus build capability of HAL (ARDC), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and CSIR Labs involved in executing this landmark event.
- An "arrested landing" on the deck of an aircraft carrier is a feat achieved by only a handful of fighter jets developed in the US, Russia, the UK, France and, more recently, China.
- Achieving this successfully, over and over again at the test facility in Goa, will validate one of the most important design features on the LCA-N - its ability to handle the incredible stresses of making an "arrested landing" on the deck of an aircraft carrier.
- It is only once the shore tests are successful that naval test pilots leading the development effort on the LCA-N prototypes can graduate to the next step - making an actual landing on India's only operational aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya.