Top officials associated with the Light Combat Aircraft
naval variant (LCA-Navy) have confirmed to LiveFist that Lockheed-Martin's inability to obtain US State Department clearances to consult with the programme have introduced a "significant delay component" into the schedule of the first aircraft roll-out. In the next few days, ADE is likely to officially hire the services of EADS, which lost the original bid in 2009. When contacted about the development, Lockheed-Martin's India spokesperson John W Giese said, "Lockeed-Martin continues to work with the US government to support the Light Combat Aircraft program." Am still awaiting an EADS comment.
The LCA-Navy desperately needs the services of a technological consultant to tweak the platform's landing gear and arrestor hook design configuration and conduct an urgent audit of the work done so far -- in addition to helping solve some critical airframe weight issues.
"There are some issues which need to be dealt with before we can progress. We are at an advanced stage of discussions with EADS and are hoping to stick to our timeline as much as possible," an official said. As reported earlier
on LiveFist, the LCA-Navy's first prototype looks forward to a roll out in two months time, followed by three months of rigorous ground tests for confidence. Time is now absolutely critical, and the ADE has set the latter half of December as a window for a possible first flight.
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