The defence ministry is setting up a shore-based test facility with Russian collaboration to test the naval version of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), a prototype of which was rolled out in Bangalore today. The facility is being developed at the Naval Air Station in Goa.
“The development of a Naval aircraft was a challenging task and testing it would be more complex operation. To facilitate this, a shore-based test facility to simulate carrier take-off and arrested landing is under construction at the Naval Air Station in Goa. The facility will also be used as a training centre for pilots and maintenance crew,” Defence Minister A K Antony said after witnessing the rollout of the two-seater LCA (Navy) from the hangar of the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Aircraft Research & Development Centre here.
Russia is supplying specialised equipment required to set up the test facility. The Navy was also establishing a complete airframe structural test specimen (STS) required for structural testing as part of the programme, he said.
Touted as the only carrier-borne warplane in the light category in the world, India’s first indigenous naval LCA is powered by GE-F404-IN20 engine and is specifically designed for ski jump take-off and arrested landing. While the prototype will be powered by GE engine, the flight version is expected to have indigenous Kaveri engine which is still under development by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).