LCA Slated for Sea Trials

By admin • September 20th, 2010

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India Defence Online, New Delhi – India’s ‘Tejas’ Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is undergoing sea trials in Goa which is a part of the out-of-station flight-test plan for the LCA. Five prototypes of indigenously developed and manufactured ‘Tejas’ LCA will be put to rough sea trials at the Hansa Naval Air Station (NAS) at Dabolim in Goa.

The ‘Tejas’ LCA requires a host of system integration checks and various weapon modes still need to be tested. Officials pointed out that the ‘Tejas’ LCA needs to be checked for some more sea-level performance points in high-angle-of-attack (AOA) mode.

During the sea trials, the ‘Tejas’ LCA will be subjected to parameter identification (PID) and sea-level flutter vibration tests, with an all-external stores (bombs, fuel tanks, missiles) configuration. The PID is conducted with the latest software version of the digital flight control computer (DFCC) being developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE). Radar assessment at sea level for air-to-air and air-to-sea mode will also be tested. The ‘Tejas’ LCA will be flown at different altitudes and speed configurations while the flutter test will be done with various external configurations.

The ‘Tejas’ LCA is expecting to complete the pre-initial operational requirements by December this year and plans to achieve operational clearance before the end of the year as well. Hence, a host of engineers and scientists are presently in Goa for these crucial sea-trials which will continue through the week.

Till now, eight prototypes have been made by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) which developed the ‘Tejas’ LCA and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) which is manufacturing the LCA. All LCAs have completed 1500 flights with test missile launches, bomb drops and radar in A2A & A2G modes.

The ‘Tejas’ LCA has already notched a speed of over 1,350 km per hour during its sea level flight trials making it the second supersonic fighter being manufactured indigenously by HAL. The ‘Tejas’ LCA had earlier been in Goa for tests and has even fired a missile. Currently, it will undertake extensive weapon-firing test as well.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has ordered for 20 LCA while orders for 20 more are in the pipeline. The IAF is reported to have a requirement for 200 single-seat and 20 two-seat conversion trainers, while the Indian Navy may order up to 40 single seat aircraft to replace its ageing fleet of Sea Harriers.

Source: India Defence Online

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