The Light Combat Aircraft’s (LCA) naval variant landed on the deck of warship INS Hansa in Goa, said its maker Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) on Thursday.
“This is the first of a series of engagements planned to prove the arrestor hook capability of the combat fighter,” said HAL Chairman T. Suvarna Raju on the occasion, reports IANS.
The achievement pushes India into a select club of the US, Europe, Russia and China in having the capability of deck-landing by a fighter aircraft.
“Piloted by Captain Shivnath Dahiya, the LCA naval prototype (NP-2) landed safely on the deck of INS Hansa at the naval shore-based test facility in Goa,” said state-run defence behemoth HAL.
The maiden feat involved the pilot making contact of the arrester hook system with the arresting wire at moderate taxi-in speed on the location at the test facility.
The first taxi-in engagement was monitored by the landing signal officer Commodore J.A. Maolankar and test director Group Captain A. Kabadwal (Retd).
The city-based aerospace major’s design wing, Aircraft Research and Design Centre, developed the arrestor hook system for ship-deck operations of LCA naval version.
The LCA naval prototype was integrated with the hook system and has been operating at INS Hansa since July 28 after the landing system was verified in-air operation in Bengaluru on July 23.
The prototype’s carrier compatibility trials are slated at shore-based test facilities, built at the Indian naval base in Goa.
The evaluation involves shore-based trials before embarking on actual deck for the LCA Navy.
State-run Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), the military aircraft’s airworthiness certifying agency Cemilac and the Indian Navy worked together for the maiden deck landing.