March 06, 2013: The LCA Navy, which has been on the ground for many months now since a short spate of just four flights starting in April last year, could take to the skies again later this year with major modifications underway to the platform's landing gear, environment control system, fuel system, lightning protection, water ingress proofing etc.
The LCA Navy team is currently working to complete all modifications since the Shore Based Test Facility (STBF) at INS Hansa in Goa, where the LCA Navy will conduct ski-jump trials, will be ready for take-off and recovery ops by July-August this year. Sources in Team LCA Navy say that the landing gear changes have contributed to the delays as they involve a significant amount of re-engineering. The process is being done under the technical supervisory of consultant EADS, which had been contracted some years ago to help speed up the programme in this crucial test development and test phase. A second prototype NP2 is currently under build, and will incorporate all changes being effected on NP1. NP2 will feature the fully redesigned landing gear and all other changes. The project envisages a total of five prototypes.