Related Topics: Science & Technology, Arrested landing
- The naval variant of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas has made a successful short arrested landing on the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) in Goa.
- The LCA made its maiden successful trap on the SBTF with the tail hook of the aircraft connecting with the arrestor wire on the deck and coming to halt within a short distance.
Naval Variant of LCA
- The LCA (Navy) is the naval version of indigenously developed Tejas fighter aircraft being developed for the Indian Air Force.
- The naval LCA made its maiden flight in April 2012 and two prototypes have been flying as part of the development.
- The first prototype (NP1) made a successful first flight from the SBTF in 2014.
- The naval version of the LCA is designed with stronger landing gear to absorb the force exerted by the ski jump ramp during take-off allowing it to be airborne from a much shorter runway on the deck of the aircraft carrier.
- Its special flight control law mode allows hands-free take-off, reducing the pilot’s workload as the aircraft leaps from the ramp and automatically puts the aircraft in an ascending trajectory.
What is Arrested landing?
- Arrested landing means to rapidly decelerate an aircraft as it lands.
- An “arrested landing” on the deck of an aircraft carrier is a feat achieved only by a handful of fighter jets developed in the US, Russia, UK, France and China.
- In December 2016, then Navy Chief stated that the LCA in the present form “does not meet the carrier capability which is required by the Navy” but added that they would continue to support the development programme.
- The current weight of the naval LCA with the underpowered engine did not allow it to fly from a carrier.
- The successful short arrested landing on the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) is seen as a major step forward as it tests modifications that will allow the naval variant of the Tejas to eventually operate from an aircraft carrier.
- Indian Navy needs several fighter jets for its future aircraft carriers, including INS Vikrant, which is under advanced stages of construction.
About LCA Tejas
- The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters.
- In 2003, the LCA was officially named “Tejas”.
- It is an Indian single-engine, delta wing, multirole light fighter designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
- It is an indigenous light weight, multi role supersonic aircraft developed in both fighter and trainer
- Advanced materials like composites are used in the manufacture of the Tejas to reduce weight and increase the component life.
- It is designed to carry a veritable plethora of air-to-air, air-to- surface, precision guided and standoff weaponry.
[Source: The Hindu, Livemint]