In December 2016, the Navy had expressed its unhappiness over the naval version of LCA Tejas and claimed that the fighter was "too heavy".
New Delhi: The indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas (NP2) for the Indian Navy is getting ready for aircraft carrier operations with the fighter undergoing tests to prove the arrestor hook system at Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF), Goa. The Spokesperson of the Indian Navy posted a short video of the LCA Navy undergoing taxi-in with an arrestor hook on its Twitter handle.
The LCA Navy first flew with a tailhook on July 23. With the LCA Navy now fitted with an arrester hook, the fighter is now getting ready to test fly off a carrier deck.
Earlier, in December 2016, the Navy had expressed its unhappiness over the naval version of LCA Tejas and claimed that the fighter was "too heavy" to fly off or land on its carriers. Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba had cited "overweight" as one of the reasons for ruling out LCA Tejas for aircraft carriers, adding that the force was looking at procuring an alternative jet.
“As far as the carrier-based aircraft is concerned, we need it in a timeline of the induction of the aircraft carrier. We have the MiG 29K, which operates from Vikramaditya and will operate from (indigenous aircraft carrier) IAC Vikrant. We were also hoping to operate the LCA (Light Combat Aircraft-Tejas) from these two aircraft carriers. Unfortunately, the LCA is not being able to meet the carrier’s required capability. That is why we need an alternative aircraft to operate from these two aircraft carriers,” Lanba said.
He said that at the moment the Navy is in the process of identifying the aircraft that will meet its requirements. “If you look around the world, there are not too many options available and we need this carrier-capable aircraft sooner than later. So, I am looking at next five-six years,” he said.
The indigenous LCA Tejas has already been inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF). Lanba said the navy is still encouraging India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to develop the Naval LCA.
The innocuous-looking tailhook or arresting hook, attached at the back of a fighter, is one of the most important parts of a carrier-based aircraft. The hook is used to catch an arrester wire on the carrier deck when the fighter lands to ensure rapid deceleration.