Maiden flight of the LCA Naval Trainer Prototype aircraft NP5 was successfully conducted from the HAL airport, Bangalore. The aircraft was captained by Capt Amit Kawade (IN) with Wg Cdr Siddarth Singh (Retd) in the rear cockpit. The aircraft took off at 1420 hrs and was air borne for 57 minutes with all parameters normal.
LCA Navy is Designed and Developed jointly by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The first trainer prototype NP1 was flown on 27 April 2012 and the fighter prototype NP2 was flown on 7th Feb 2015.
Both Naval Prototypes (NP1 and NP2) have achieved major landmark milestones like ski jump take off and arrested landing demonstrations on Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) at Dabolim Airport, Goa and operations from indigenous aircraft carriers. The aircraft demonstrated 18 arrested landings and Ski Jump take offs from INS Vikramaditya in Jan 2020, including hot refuelling capability. Recently, LCA Navy participated in the carrier trials from INS Vikrant and performed 10 Ski Jump take offs and arrested landings on 6th Feb 2023. LCA Navy has completed the landmark achievement of being the first indigenous fighter aircraft landing on to the indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.
LCA Navy is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies such as Fly-by-wire flight control system, glass cockpit and advanced mechanical systems. The aircraft can be operated seamlessly both during the day and night. It features advanced hands free ski jump take-off and landing flight control modes. LCA Navy Prototypes are carrier compatible and can operate with Air-to-Air weapons for combat missions. The new prototype NP5 will soon undertake field and carrier operations from both INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant. LCA Navy NP5 incorporates all improvements identified during exploitation of NP1 and NP2 is a production ready aircraft.
NP5 flown on 18th Aug 23 from HAL airport, incorporates the production standard airframe and rainwater compliance, maintainability improvements as well as futuristic system advancement.
During interaction, Capt Amit Kawade (IN) expressed that the handling qualities were extremely satisfactory and all test points envisaged have been successfully completed.
The first flight of NP5 was witnessed by Director General-ADA, Director ADA, Director Engg (R&D), HAL, ED (AR&DC) and other dignitaries.
DG-ADA while congratulating the team said that flight of NP5 is a culmination of combined efforts of ADA, HAL, CEMILAC, DGAQA and several other Government and Private industries.
Addition of NP5 aircraft to LCA Navy prototype fleet will help to accelerate flight testing activities which will provide designers vital inputs towards design and development of the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF), the prestigious futuristic carrier aircraft programme of our country.
LCA Navy can also serve as an effective training platform for Indian Navy pilots for operations from the aircraft carriers.