Flight Trials On Newly Commissioned Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant To Start This Month: Report
Flight trials on India's first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, commissioned into service in September this year, are likely to begin this month, a report in ThePrint says, citing unnamed sources.
However, "the actual landing of the MiG 29K by the pilots on-board is likely to happen only early next year as the Vikrant would only be fully operational by the end of 2023," the report adds.
INS Vikrant's 60-metre-wide deck is equipped with a short take-off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) system for fighter operations.
In the STOBAR system, aircraft are launched using their own power with a 14-degree inclined ramp (or ski-jump) on the bow of the carrier providing the required lift. Arrestor wires, which rapidly but smoothly decelerate an aircraft, are used for recovery. The undercarriage of a naval fighter has a tail hook that gets 'arrested' in the wires as it lands on the carrier's deck.
During the landing trial, fighter jets will approach the carrier at a speed of around 250 km per hour. Reports say that the aircraft will have to be decelerated and stopped within 90 metres of touch down.
Navy pilots are trained for this complex manoeuvre at the Shore Based Test Facility at INS Hansa in Goa. Built with Russian help, it has a mock-up of the ski jump platform of the kind that Indian aircraft carriers have.
The facility allows pilots to hone their skills in short take-offs and short landings needed to operate from Indian aircraft carriers.
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