The Indian-built fighter jet, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas – naval variant, has made a first-of-its-kind landing on an Indian-made aircraft carrier, the brand-new INS Vikrant, which began sea trials in August 2021 and was commissioned in September 2022. Two prototypes of the Naval LCA-Mk1 are operational as part of the aircraft development. The LCA Tejas was accompanied by the MiG-29K in the latest demonstrations, demonstrating India’s capability to design, develop, construct and operate an indigenous aircraft carrier with an indigenous fighter aircraft. On February 6, the second operational prototype of the aircraft, namely the NP2 jet, launched off the carrier’s “ski jump” ramp, making it the first time a fixed-wing aircraft of any kind had finished a complete cycle within the flattop. The Indian Navy had plans to receive about 50 of the aircraft, however, the Indian Navy abandoned the notion of a carrier-based variant of the lightweight fighter even before the LCA Navy made its debut at sea. The Indian Navy is now invested in the TEDBF program, which is still largely unknown how the TEDBF will look and whether it will carry any of the LCA’s design features. The Indian Navy’s Multirole Carrier Borne Fighter (MRCBF) is currently underway and speculations are that the Rafale may be the front-runner for the MRCBF.
Today: December 4, 2023