LCA-Navy ready to fly again shortly

Issue: 5 / 2013 November 11, 2013 By SP's Special Correspondent Photo(s): By ADA

The LCA Navy, which hasn't flown for over a year now, is likely to fly again soon by early next year, top sources tell SP's. After a first flight in April last year, followed by three more development flights, the NP1 naval prototype is said to be ready to take to the air again with significant modifications. The NP1 flight test was put on hold after ADA identified issues with the platform's landing gear and undercarriage design, necessitating a technological consultancy contract currently being executed with EADS. On the ground in Bangalore over the last year, the consultancy has included issues pertaining to strengthening of the landing gear, sink rate parameters and other critical aspects of approach. As reported by SP's earlier, the ADA is looking to add a new telemetry facility at INS Hansa to facilitate testing at the shore-based test facility (SBTF) to be used by MiG-29K and LCA-N platforms starting next year.