A prototype of the naval version of the light combat aircraft landed and took off from the country’s sole aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya on Saturday in a significant step towards India developing its own deck-based fighters, two senior officials said.
The carrier which is currently deployed in the Arabian Sea has the naval version of the MiG 29 on board. The carrier has a capacity for 30 aircraft.
Last September, the naval version of the LCA successfully executed its first-ever arrested landing at a shore-based test facility in Goa.
“With this feat, the indigenously developed niche technologies specific to deck-based fighter operations have been proven, which will now pave the way to develop and manufacture the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter for the #IndianNavy,” the Indian Navy tweeted.
India has a requirement for 57 deck-based fighters for its carrier operations.
“After completing extensive trials on the Shore Based Test Facility, DRDO, ADA developed LCA Navy did an arrested landing on INS Vikramaditya successfully today 11 Jan 2020 at 10:02 hours. Commodore Jaideep Maolankar did the maiden landing,” the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) tweeted.