LCA completes first ski-jump takeoff

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The LCA Naval prototype takes off from the ski jump.
The LCA Naval prototype takes off from the ski jump.
The LCA Naval prototype takes off from the ski jump.

The first prototype of the Navalaized Tejas Indigenous Combat Aircraft (LCA) developed for the Indian Navy has took off saturday (December 20, 2014) from the Ski-Jump facility of Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) at INS Hansa in Goa. LCA (Navy) is designed with stronger landing gears to absorb forces exerted by the ski jump ramp during take-off, and cable arrested landing.

The ski-jump enables the aircraft to become airborne within 200 m, compared to 1000m required for normal runways. Its special flight control law mode allows hands-free take-off relieving the pilot workload, as the aircraft leaps from the ramp and automatically puts the aircraft in an ascending trajectory. The SBTF has been created to replicate the aircraft carrier with a Ski Jump for take-off and arresting gear cable for arrested landing.

The facility is supported by ADA with the participation of the Indian Navy, Goa shipyard, CCE (R&D) West, Pune, R&D Engg (E) Pune and the Russian agencies providing the design support and specialized equipment. The LCA Mk I achieved Initial Operational Clearance with the Indian Air Force in December 2013, the novelised variant and advanced Mk-II version for the air force are under development.