With ski jump, naval light combat aircraft takes off from INS Vikramaditya for 1st time
A day after a prototype of the naval version of the light combat aircraft (LCA) made its maiden landing on aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, the technology demonstrator plane on Sunday took off from India’s only aircraft carrier for the first time, a navy official said. It’s a significant step towards India developing its own deck-based fighters.
“The developmental LCA (N) MK1 achieved another important #milestone today by successfully undertaking the maiden Ski Jump Take-Off from #INSVikramaditya,” the Indian Navy tweeted. The carrier is currently deployed in the Arabian Sea and operates Russian-origin MiG-29K fighters.
In another tweet, the Navy posted pictures of the LCA (N) MK1 while undertaking the maiden Ski Jump takeoff from the aircraft carrier.
The LCA Navy is expected to carry out 20 landings and takeoffs over the next eight to 10 days. It uses the ski jump to take off and is recovered by arrestor wires on the carrier or STOBAR (short takeoff but arrested recovery) in navy parlance.
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Only the US, the UK, Russia, France and China have built fighter jets that can operate from the deck of an aircraft carrier. Carrier strike groups help a country project maritime power thousands of miles away from its shores. Such groups are escorted by destroyers, frigates, submarines and supply vessels.
Last September, the LCA Navy successfully executed its first-ever arrested landing at a shore-based test facility (SBTF) 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 Navy tweeted on Saturday after the maiden landing.
India has a requirement for 57 deck based fighters for its carrier operations.