The LCA Navy demonstrated India’s capability to design, develop, construct, and operate indigenous aircraft carriers with home-grown fighter aircraft.

The Indian Navy on Monday achieved a significant milestone after the naval version of light combat aircraft successfully made its maiden landing on the indigenously-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. 

Terming it a historic milestone towards the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative, the Indian Navy said that the naval pilots had landed LCA (Navy) onboard INS Vikrant. It also stated that the LCA Navy demonstrated India’s capability to design, develop, construct, and operate indigenous aircraft carriers with home-grown fighter aircraft.

LCA-Navy makes historic landing on the deck of INS Vikrant

In 2020, the LCA naval version landed and took off from INS Vikramaditya. In 2019, the LCA successfully executed its first-ever arrested landing at a shore-based test facility in Goa.

LCA-Navy makes historic landing on the deck of INS Vikrant

 

The aircraft carrier, commissioned into the force in September last year, is currently undergoing operationalization of its aviation complex. Then it will go for full-fledged operational deployment.

Over two months back, the Navy had handed over a detailed report on a twin-engine aircraft to operate from the carrier. French-origin Rafale (M) and US F/16 Super Hornet were in the race for the deal to be inked with the Indian Navy.

As per the reports, Rafale (M) has emerged as the front-runner, and the deal is expected to be signed soon. 

LCA-Navy makes historic landing on the deck of INS Vikrant

The DRDO is also now working on developing a Twin Engine Deck-Based Fighter (TEDBF).

Currently, the Indian Navy is looking for 26 aircraft from Dassault aviation or Boeing as an interim arrangement. Later, the TEDBF would be the mainstay fighter onboard INS Vikrant. 

In the next few months, the Cabinet Committee on Security is expected to approve the TEDBF project, which could be inducted into the force by 2032. The INS Vikrant has a displacement weight of 42,800 tonnes.