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LCA's naval version clears short take-off and landing test


New Delhi: In a significant development, the naval version of India's indigenously-built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas has successfully completed in a single sortie the cycle of short take-off and arrested recovery, necessary for operating on an aircraft carrier, defence officials said on Monday.

As per defence officials, the sortie was undertaken at a shore-based test facility of INS Hansa in Goa on Sunday. A prototype of the LCA's naval version took off a ski jump from the shore-based location and was subsequently trapped on an arresting gear site.

"Both these activities had been achieved individually earlier. But this was the first occasion when the complete cycle of short launch and arrested recovery necessary for aircraft carrier operations was accomplished in a single sortie," said an official.

The officials said the experiment was conducted to test the capability of the aircraft, which is under development by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), to take off and land on shorter runways on an aircraft carrier.

In an earlier experiment, the aircraft had successfully taken off from a ski. Earlier this month, in another experiment, the aircraft successfully completed an arrested recovery with the help of arrestor wire and hook.

According to officials, data from experiments conducted on the take off and landing will be integrated to conduct further tests that will lead to the design of an aircraft that can be used on the aircraft carrier.

The Navy has maintained that the LCA prototype, in its present shape, cannot be integrated into an aircraft carrier. Though the Navy has been making regular stage payments for all experiments conducted on the development of the aircraft, it can only integrate the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) into the services.


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