Sunday, 16 November 2008

DRDO Golden Jubilee: LCA Puts India Ahead


Light Combat Aircraft

Light Combat Aircraft is one of the major achievements of the Defence
Research and Development Organisation. The LCA developed by the
Aeronautical Development Agency, is the smallest light weight multirole
combat aircraft in the world.
This single-seat single-engine tactical fighter is among the best in the world.
It is also India's first modern fighter aircraft, designed specifically to meet the
requirements of the Indian Air Force.
The LC aircraft is a precision weapon launch platform with multirole
capability. It has a choice of three hard points below each wing, and one
under the fuselage giving it considerable flexibility to carry a variety of
missiles, bombs and rockets, as per mission requirements: air-to-air, air-to-
ground or air-to-sea. According DRDO, high manoeuvrability and carefree
handling capability of the aircraft combined with advanced cockpit, digital
avionics and weapon system interface give LCA very good point and shoot
capability with quick turn around time.
LCA is planned to replace the MiG series of aircraft currently operated by the
Indian Air Force. About 200 single seat fighters and 20 two-seat LCA
trainers are projected requirements of Indian Air Force for its squadron
service in the next decade. LCA Programme involves building and flight-
testing of two technology demonstrators - TD1 and TD2 (both already
airborne) and five prototype vehicles (PV to PV5), the last being a two-seat
trainer version, towards operational clearance including weaponisation.
A naval version of the LCA capable of operation from an aircraft carrier is
also under development. Two naval prototypes (NP1 and NP2) are proposed
to be built and flown to obtain clearance for deck operation.

LCA for Navy:

1. Aircraft carrier operation with ski-jump and arrested landing
2. Nose drooped for better cockpit vision
3. Additional aerodynamic features like LEVCON and fore plane to reduce
carrier landing speed
4. Maximum take off weight from carrier - 12.5 tons
5 External store carrying capacity from carrier - 3.5 tons
6. Strengthened Fuselage
7. Stronger undercarriage due to higher sink rate
8. Arrestor hook for deck recovery
9. Fuel dump system

LCA - Trainer

1. Operational 2-seater
2. Aerodynamic commonalty with naval versions
3. Design and layouts in 3-D
4. Marginally reduced internal fuel

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