The Indian-made Tejas fighter successfully landed on the country’s domestic aircraft carrier.
“This is a historic milestone in India’s plan for defense autonomy, as the Navy’s Light Fighter Aircraft (LAC) pilot landed aboard INS Vikrant. It demonstrates the capabilities of the Indian Navy. India in the design, development, construction, and operation of domestic aircraft carriers and fighters,” the Indian Navy announced on February 6.
The Indian Navy released a video showing the LAC fighter, also known as the Tejas, landing on the aircraft carrier Vikrant and using a braking cable system to stop on deck. This fighter then took off on the runway using the jumper mechanism of the Vikrant aircraft carrier.
The Tejas fighter is expected to participate in a series of tests with the Vikrant battleship to demonstrate the aircraft carrier’s ability to operate fighter aircraft. According to the plan, the testing process will end in mid-2023, paving the way for the Vikrant aircraft carrier to come into operation.
The Indian Navy can commission MiG-29K/KUB fighter jets for the Vikrant aircraft carrier. India has purchased 45 MiG-29K/KUBs and operates them on the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.
Vikrant aircraft carrier began sea trials in August 2021 after many delays. The Indian Defense Ministry said the Vikrant warship has a localization rate of more than 76%.
Vikrant aircraft carrier has a displacement of 45,000 tons, a maximum speed of about 65 km / h, and a range of nearly 14,000 km. The battleship is about the same size as the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier, modified from the Kiev-class Baku helicopter carrier built by the Soviet Union.
Vikrant uses the same jumper design as Vikramaditya and does not have a catapult. However, the Vikrant has a number of new improvements, including a dedicated compartment for female officers, a significantly increased degree of automation, and improved machine efficiency, positioning, and survivability.
Vikrant’s gas turbine engine increases reliability and safety compared to the Vikramaditya battleship, which uses boiler technology. Vikrant’s weapon lifts are installed on either side of the conning tower to improve the ability to transport aircraft from the compartment to the take-off deck.
Vikrant aircraft carrier is equipped with radar complex IAI Elta EL/M-2248 MF-STAR manufactured by Israel. The battleship is also equipped with Israel’s Rafael Barak 8 air defense missile system and Russia’s AK-630 close-in defense complex.
The Indian Navy has operated aircraft carriers for decades. The Vikrant designation was once given to an Indian Majestic-class aircraft carrier. This warship participated in the Indo-Pakistan War in 1971.