U.S. Navy Joins India’s Light Combat Aircraft Project

The U.S. Navy has agreed to come on board India’s much delayed Naval Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program and will audit tests and provide feedbacks to the Indian team.

Naval Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program

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The U.S. will join the Russians and the Europeans who were earlier roped in to realize the LCA project which has been delayed by over 15 years.

The U.S Navy Carrier Suitability Test Team is the latest of three foreign consultants to join team LCA. Among the many problems the LCA program is faced with, one is the weight of the prototype which is heavier by 500 kgs over the requirement of a carrier-based fighter. The Test Team is expected to tackle this issue.

According to Indian media reports, the U.S Test Team will not be paid for its services.

In 2011, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Group (EADS) was introduced to the program in order to help developers reduce the weight of the fighter.

Meanwhile, the Gromov Institute in Russia is currently testing the Kaveri engine on an Ilyushin-76 engine test bed aircraft and has completed 55 hours of testing at the Institute.

The Naval LCA-NP1, also known as Tejas, made its maiden flight a week ago at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bangalore.


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