LCA Navy 2nd prototype makes debut flight


LCA-NP2, the fighter version of the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas being made for the Navy, flew for the first time on Saturday.

The second naval LCA aircraft prototype took off from the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd runway at 12.27 p.m. and flew for about 35 minutes, said HAL, the production partner in the indigenous fighter plane programme.

The flight of NP-2, customised from the version meant for the Air Force, signifies a step in readying the first fighter for the Navy, according to P.S.Subramanyam, Programme Director of developer Aeronautical Development Agency. NP-1 is a trainer.

NP-2 is planned to go into crucial carrier capability or ship-based tests, likely in Goa in June, he told The Hindu. The strength of NP-2's airframe structure would be tested and the plane kitted out with radar and weapons.

Carrier compatibility technology involves short take-off from and landing on warships.initially from ADA's Shore-Based Test Facility in Goa.

Navy test pilot Captain Shivnath Dahiya of the National Flight Test Centre flew the NP-2. Gp. Capt. Suneet Krishna (retd) gave chase aircraft cover in a Tejas IAF version.

Officials of HAL, Aeronautical Development Agency which is developing the LCA Tejas for the Air Force and the Navy, safety certifying agency CEMILAC and other DRDO officials watched the flight.

HAL Chairman T. Suvarna Raju said NP-2's new and complex landing gear was designed by engineers of HAL's Aircraft Research and Design Centre.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 4:17:54 PM |

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