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India: First landing of Naval Tejas Mk1 Light Combat Aircraft on INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier


On Saturday, January 11, 2020, the naval variant of the Indian-made Tejas Mk1 LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) has completed the first landing onboard Indian Navy aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.


India First landing of Naval Tejas Mk1 Light Combat Aircraft on INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier 925 001 First landing of Naval version of the Indian-made Tejas Mk1 Light Combat Aircraft on Indian Navy aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, January 11, 2019.  (Picture source Twiter account DRDO)


After completing extensive trials on the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF), Naval version of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) did a successful arrested landing onboard Indian Navy aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya at 10H02 AM, Saturday, January 11, 2020. Commodore Jaideep Maolankar conducted the maiden landing. Captain Dahiya was the Landing Safety Officer (LSO) and Cdr Vivek Pandey Test Director on ship whereas Gr. Capt. Kabadwal and Cdr Ankur Jain were monitoring the aircraft through telemetry from SBTF. LCA Navy has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

India has replicated the flight deck of an aircraft carrier at the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) specially designed to train naval pilots of the Indian Navy. Pitching deck landings are some of the most challenging semi-common aviation feats. The training facility will offer Indian pilots to train in the complex maneuvers of landing on the short flight deck of an aircraft carrier before they move on to the actual carrier.

The Naval LCA-Mk1 made its maiden flight in April 2012 and two prototypes have been flying as part of the development. In September 2019, the Naval variant of Tejas successfully completed testing in Goa during which the short take-off (200 meters) from Shore Based Test Facility was carried out along with hot refueling.

The naval variant of the Tejas LCA is designed with stronger landing gears to absorb forces exerted by the ski jump ramp during take-off, to be airborne within 200 m and land within 100 m as against 1000 m required for normal runways.

As of 2019, the Indian Navy has ordered 8 Naval Tejas in Mk1 configuration, which includes 4 single-seat fighters and 4 two-seat trainers.

The INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier has been designed to operate both conventional fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, with up to 34 aircraft. Its primary embarked aircraft type is the Mikoyan MiG-29K, a navalised version of the Mikoyan MiG-29M.


India First landing of Naval Tejas Mk1 Light Combat Aircraft on INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier 925 002