New version of naval light combat aircraft to be developed by DRDO soon | india-news | Hindustan Times
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New version of naval light combat aircraft to be developed by DRDO soon

india Updated: Feb 15, 2017 19:44 IST

A pair of Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) take off during a display at the Aero India exhibition at the Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bengaluru on Wednesday.(AFP File)

The Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) on Wednesday said it will develop a new version of the naval Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), which is likely to fly by the end of 2020.

At a press conference in Bengaluru, director of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), CD Balaji said they were aware of the shortcomings of the naval version of the LCA, adding that a new version was being worked upon.

The ADA is the nodal agency for the design and development of LCA.

“The overweight aircraft is the Mark 1. We will work on Mark 2 aircraft, which will have enhanced thrust engine. It will meet the requirements of the take-off,” Balaji added.

He said the lessons on the arrestor gear and a catapult launch that would be emphasised upon for the next version, were learned.

“We are re-configuring this aircraft, the preliminary design is complete, the detailed design will take 18-20 months. By the end of 2020, the revised configuration should fly,” he said.

According to sources, the navy wanted a twin-engine aircraft, but they were told that developing it would take longer.

Naval chief Admiral Sunil Lanba had said in December 2016 that the LCA was “not up to the mark yet”, due to which they were searching for another fighter aircraft for carrier operations within the next five years.

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday said the Indian Navy would continue to fund development of the naval variant of Tejas.