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Home » Naval variant of Tejas successfully conducts ‘arrested landing’ | India News

Naval variant of Tejas successfully conducts ‘arrested landing’ | India News

NEW DELHI: The naval variant of the indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft successfully conducted an “arrested landing” for the first time on a shore-based runway, a critical capability required for the long-delayed fighter jet to eventually operate from an aircraft carrier on the high seas.
The DRDO termed it a major milestone when the naval Tejas prototype made a successful short landing with arrestor wires – which abruptly stop a fighter on an aircraft carrier’s deck that has limited runway length — on the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) at the naval base INS Hansa in Goa.
“This is the first time an indigenous fighter has made arrested landing in India. It’s a golden letter day that puts India on the world map as a nation with the capability to design a deck landing aircraft,” said an official.
Added another, “It displays the professional prowess of our scientific community, the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) embedded with design plus build capability of Hindustan Aeronautics, DRDO and CSIR Labs. Only a few countries like the US, Russia, France and China have developed fighters capable of arrested landing on aircraft carrier decks.”
But much more will be required for the naval Tejas prototype to become operational and capable of landing on the 44,400-tonne carrier INS Vikramaditya, as also the under-construction 40,000-tonne INS Vikrant.
At present, the Navy operates 45 MiG-29K fighters, acquired from Russia for $2 billion, to operate from INS Vikramaditya.
The Navy in the past has rejected the single-engine Tejas, stressing that the “over-weight” fighter cannot optimally operate from aircraft carriers. In December 2016, for instance, the then Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba had said the Tejas did not meet the “thrust-to-weight requirement to take off with a full fuel and arms load” from an aircraft carrier’s deck.
Officials say the DRDO is now developing a Mark-II version of the naval Tejas, with a higher thrust engine than the one used in the Mark-I version. While the IAF is committed to inducting 123 Tejas jets (only 14 have been delivered till now in their initial operational clearance configuration), the Navy was supposed to get around 50 of the naval variants. But the force has not placed orders for the Tejas till now, and is instead currently hunting to acquire 57 multi-role fighters from abroad.

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