New Delhi. Technology in Defence took a major step forward when indigenous aircraft LCA Naval Prototype-2 on September 29 launched off the ski jump at 1621 hours and subsequently “trapped” at 1631 hours on the arresting gear site of an aircraft carrier with both at Shore Based Test Facility INS Hansa in Goa
While both these activities had been achieved individually earlier, this was the first occasion when the complete cycle of launch and recovery necessary for aircraft carrier operations was accomplished in a single sortie.
Being a pioneering technology acquisition and demonstration program for the unique Short Take-Off but Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) concept of aircraft operations, the LCA (Navy) team has had to conceptualise and experiment with complex software modes from a clean slate. All this had to be done while tentatively exploring and incrementally expanding the structural capabilities of the aircraft to withstand the brutal requirements of carrier operations.
The exploratory nature of this stage of the programme necessitates experimentation with multiple software options and hardware configurations. These include multiple configurations of aerodynamic surfaces, different flight control strategies, avionics tools and display symbols to ease the piloting task, multiple iterations to the “mechanicals” (dampers/structural members/contact points) etc.
Comprehensive and seamless integration of all these experimental variants simultaneously into a single platform is therefore not possible till all options have been evaluated and the preferred configuration has been decided.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has congratulated DRDO, ADA, HAL and Indian Navy for this major feat. Secretary, Department of Defence, R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr. G Satheesh Reddy also congratulated DRDO, ADA, HAL and Indian Navy for the achievement.