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India completes Light Combat Aircraft NP5 trainer prototype test flight

23rd August 2023 - 14:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London

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LCA Navy is a joint initiative of ADA and HAL. (Photo: Government of India)

In a stride towards bolstering India's indigenous naval aviation capabilities, the Aeronautical Development Agency has successfully completed the maiden flight of LCA Navy trainer prototype aircraft NP5.

The aircraft took off from HAL Airport in Bangalore, marking the collaborative efforts of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

The maiden flight saw the NP5 airborne for 57 minutes, demonstrating its performance with all parameters within the normal range.

LCA Navy, a joint initiative of ADA and HAL, has been a work in progress since the first trainer prototype NP1's flight on 27 April 2012. The fighter prototype NP2 followed suit with its flight on 7 February 2015.

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Both Naval Prototypes, NP1 and NP2, have achieved milestones, including ski-jump take-off and arrested landing demonstrations on the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) at Dabolim Airport, Goa, and operations from indigenous aircraft carriers.

Notably, LCA Navy demonstrated 18 arrested landings and ski-jump take-offs from INS Vikramaditya in January 2020, showcasing its adaptability to carrier operations. The aircraft continued successful testing by participating in carrier trials from INS Vikrant, executing ten ski-jump take-offs and arrested landings in February this year.

The latest prototype, NP5, is due to embark on field and carrier trials from both INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant. This prototype embodies enhancements derived from experience with NP1 and NP2, and is touted as a 'production-ready' aircraft.

The Shephard News Team

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