Saturday, December 10, 2011

India's first Naval fighter LCA Tejas to take to skies this month

BANGALORE: India's first carrier-borne naval fighter aircraft "LCA Tejas (Navy)" will take to the skies for its maiden flight this month, a top defence official said today, adding that it will form the air element of the Indian Navy.

"LCA (Navy) will be flown in the month of December.I think by the end of this month, it should fly", V K Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Director General of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said.

DRDO officials said the aircraft is currently going through a phase of refinements based on feedback and observations during the September EGR (Engine Ground Run) of LCA Tejas (Navy) prototype NP1, followed by a series of final integration checks and taxi trials before the first flight.

They said the aircraft will be operating with a wide variety of operational weapons and equipments like the beyond visual range missiles, anti-ship missiles, conventional bombs, air defence guns and drop tanks.

Equipped with state-of-the art technologies and punch, the aircraft is designed to operate from the future Indigenous aircraft carriers the Navy plans to acquire, they said.

The team steering the project comprises members of Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, HAL, DRDO, Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC), Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA), CSIR Labs, educational institutions, and other public and private sector partners.

Aeronautical Development Agency, a Bangalore-based DRDO lab, is responsible for the design, development, build, ground test and flight test of both the Naval and Air Force versions of the aircraft.

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