In Pictures: Naval Variant Of Tejas Makes Maiden Landing And Take-Off From Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant
The naval variant of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, called LCA Navy, made its maiden landing and take-off from India's first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant earlier today (6 January).
The construction of the carrier began in 2009. It was commissioned into service by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September last year.
INS Vikrant is 262 metres long, 62 metres wide and it has a height of 59 metres. The carrier has over 2,300 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1,700 people, including specialised cabins to accommodate women officers. It has a top speed of around 28 knots and a cruising speed of 18 knots with an endurance of about 7,500 nautical miles.
With the induction of INS Vikrant, the Navy has a two carriers in its fleet for the first time in years but not enough fighters to keep both warships operational.
It evaluated French aircraft major Dassault Aviation's Rafale-M and US-based Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet last year as it is looking to augment its dwindling fleet of fighters currently made up of the troubled Russian-origin MiG-29Ks. In 2022, the two fighters participated in trials at the shore-based test facility at INS Hansa in Goa to showcase their capabilities to take off from a ski-jump platform of the kind that Indian carriers have.
It is believed that the Indian Navy has submitted a report to the Ministry of Defence identifying Rafale M as its choice.
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