The LCA (Navy) is simply a technology demonstration, but it is a major development since it shows that India has created specialised technologies for deck-based fighter operations, which will open the door to the development and production of the twin-engine deck-based fighter (TEDBF). INS Vikrant, a homegrown aircraft carrier that was commissioned into the navy last September, hosted a prototype of the naval version of the locally made light combat aircraft (LCA) on Monday, marking a significant turning point in the country's quest for self-reliance in the defence manufacturing sector, according to officials with knowledge of the situation. One of the officials listed above stated, "The development proves India's potential to design, build, construct, and operate indigenous aircraft carriers with domestically produced fighter aircraft.subject to confidentiality. Another insider stated that the LCA (Navy) has been operating from the INS Vikrant deck at a time when the aircraft carrier is undergoing crucial flight testing to become fully operational this year.Even though the LCA (Navy) is simply a technology demonstration, this breakthrough is significant because it demonstrates that India has created specialised technologies for deck-based fighter operations, which will make it possible to create and market the twin-engine deck-based fighter (TEDBF). The Russian-made MiG-29K fighter fighters that utilise the ski-jump to take off from the aircraft carrier and are recovered by arrestor wires, or what is known as STOBAR (short takeoff but arrested recovery), are being tested during flying tests on board the INS Vikrant. Twelve MiG-29Ks are anticipated to be stationed aboard INS Vikrant, which will also fly a new deck-based fighter that the navy is considering to purchase as a temporary solution to cover its needs until the indigenous aircraft can be produced.
The officials stated that TEDBF will be ready in a few years. The MiG-29K fighters are flown by the navy's other aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya. In August 2020, Vikramaditya hosted the maiden LCA (Navy) landing and takeoff. The French Rafale M fighter has defeated the American F/A-18 Super Hornet in a straight competition to supply the Indian Navy with 26 new deck-based aircraft at INS Vikrant, as reported by HT in December. While Boeing produces the Super Hornet, Dassault Aviation makes the Rafale.In January 2022 and June 2022, respectively, Dassault and Boeing showcased the capabilities of their aircraft to the Indian Navy at a shore-based test facility in Goa. The 26 fighters the Navy intends to purchase are only a band-aid until the nation creates its own TEDBF. Indian Navy head Admiral R. Hari Kumar stated in December 2022 that the Navy is putting together a draught cabinet note for the design and construction of the TEDBF that India intends to deploy from its aircraft carriers. Around 2026, the TEDBF prototype should be completed, and by 2032, manufacturing could start. On the TEDBF project, the Navy collaborates with the Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) and Aeronautical Development Agency. TEDBF is still a decade away.
Vikrant, which has a 76% indigenous content, will fly a wing of 30 aircraft, including modern fighters, multi-role MH-60R helicopters, Kamov-31 choppers, MiG-29K helicopters, and sophisticated light helicopters. Costing 20,000 crore, the 45,000-tonne INS Vikrant was constructed in Cochin Shipyard. The only countries with the capacity to construct aircraft carriers of this scale are the US, the UK, Russia, France, and China. It was given the INS Vikrant moniker in honour of the Navy's 1961–1997 use of the aircraft carrier. According to the authorities, the Navy is also considering building a second indigenous aircraft carrier to reflect India's maritime dominance in the high seas. The other aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, cost $2.33 billion to acquire used from Russia.been claiming that given its enormous area of interest, it requires three such floating airfields.The Indian Navy has operated four aircraft carriers, including the first Vikrant (of British origin) from 1961 to 1997, the INS Viraat (also of British origin) from 1987 to 2016, and the INS Vikramaditya since 2013. The INS Vikrant is 262 metres long, 61 metres tall (keel to mast), and has a 12,500 square metre flight deck (equivalent to 10 Olympic-size swimming pools). It has a 7,500 nautical mile range, a top speed of 28 knots, 2,300 compartments, and seating for 1,600 crew members.
First Time A Naval Light Combat Aircraft Has Operated From INS Vikrant
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