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India rolls out first naval Light Combat Aircraft

By Samyuktha

Bangalore, Jul 6: In yet another milestone, India on Tuesday, Jul 6 unveiled its first indigenous naval Light Combat Aircraft, LCA (Navy), NP1 here.

NP1 was rolled out from Bangalore's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) facility in an event that was attended by Defence Minister AK Antony and other senior officials. Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma was the chief guest of the function.

This is a landmark achievement for the the naval programme of Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), where the aircraft was put together.

The aircraft is now being readied for induction into the Navy. The LCA will be subjected to a phase of systems integration tests leading to ground runs, taxi trials and flight trials.

It will then be deployed on board the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) by 2015. The IAC is currently under construction at the Cochin Shipyard.

However, NP1 will be taking its first flight by the end of 2010. The LCA is equipped with state-art-technology and the GE-F-404-IN20 engine. It is designed for Ski-jump Take Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) operations.

The Naval LCA will be operating with a wide variety of operational weapons and equipment including the Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile, anti-ship missiles, conventional bombs, air defence guns, counter-counter measures and drop tanks.

NP1 is the only carrier-borne aircraft in the light category in the world.

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