India's LCA Navy Prototype 2 Flies

The second prototype (NP2) of India's first indigenously developed carrier-borne fighter, the LCA Navy made its first flight today in Bengaluru. The aircraft, a single seater type, made its maiden flight at about 12.27HRS for about 35 minutes.

The flight was piloted by Captain Shivnath Dahiya, an Indian Navy test pilot with the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC). The launch was accomplished under telemetry control exercised by Test Director, Commander J D Raturi and Safety Pilot, Commodore J A Maolankar, the Chief Test Pilot of NFTC. The chase aircraft cover was provided by LSP2 piloted by Gp. Capt. Suneet Krishna (Retd) with the Test Director being Gp. Capt Prabhu and the Safety Pilot being Gp. Capt. RR Tyagi.

"The success of maiden flight of NP 2 is a testimony to the efforts put in by scientists and engineers to enable flight of the first LCA Naval Fighter. With one trainer and fighter in its stable “the indigenous carrier borne fighter program is making headway snf acquiring momentum," HAL said in a statement.

The HAL statement also said: "The ADA LCA (Navy) Programme Office, under Cmde C D Balaji (Retd) is exhilarated by the addition of NP 2 as a Flight Test platform. NP 2 has been built with vision and foresight. It addresses several systemic deficiencies observed whilst making progress on flight test of Naval Prototype 1. It incorporates most avionic hardware components promised to the customer, Indian Navy. During design and build NP 2 has been customized (Plug & Play) to incrementally accept modifications for Carrier Landing aids like Levcon Air Data Computer, Auto-throttle, external and internal Angle of Attack lights. NP 2 is the lead aircraft for arrestor hook integration, Derby Beyond visual Range missile and tactical data link. The inclusion of NP 2 into the LCA (Navy) flight test stable is a significant milestone in the indigenous Carrier borne aircraft development programme."

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