Indian Naval Aviation : Updates and Discussions

vstol Jockey

Dec 1, 2017
New Delhi
Think of a dark night launch from deck on a Sea harrier and Imagine what it would be like. We once took an IAF fighter pilot in a trainer for such deck launch. When we landed back, his legs were still shaking with the experience. IN used to fly non diversionary flights deep at sea with single engine aircraft. I am one of those who did it as part of my job.
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Senior Member
Dec 4, 2017
Nilesh Rane (@nileshjrane) Tweeted:
Another milestone. Its going to be very interesting to see what MTOW NLCA MK1 can achieve finally off the skyjump on an AC. DRDO on Twitter ( )

Nilesh Rane (@nileshjrane) Tweeted:
Lo and Behold. @DRDO_India has released this picture of NLCA MK1 taking off from the ski-jump of the STBF with 2xR73 and 2xDerby.

Interestingly, the BVR missiles are loaded on the inboard pylons. Nilesh Rane on Twitter ( )

Nilesh Rane (@nileshjrane) Tweeted:
@ungliwallah Its a TD. They need to test as much as possible so the next program is de-risked. Nothing is wasteful. Even failures count as learnings. ( )

Nilesh Rane (@nileshjrane) Tweeted:
@ungliwallah They will test with EFT eventually. NLCA MK1 is already certified with Centerline EFT. If younhabe seen the image released, BVR are interestingly mounted on the inboard pylons. We know from recent DDR report that these pylons have space restriction due to that MLG. But given LCA ( )

Nilesh Rane (@nileshjrane) Tweeted:
@ungliwallah MK1 midboard pylons are wet pylons, its not too farfetched to expect NLCA MK1 could also carry 800L EFT on midboard pylons. The question is what isnthe MTOW it could TO from a AC.? We would know only after tests. But there are chances NLCA MK1 can carry 2xCCM, 2xBVR, 1xEFT and ( )

Nilesh Rane (@nileshjrane) Tweeted:
@ungliwallah Possibly 2xCCM, 3-4xBVR (assuming 1-2 BVR on centerline pylon) and 2xEFT. A decent A2A config for a TD aircraft to start with. Good enough for deployment onboard an AC and get some CAP/AD missions done for data/experience gathering. (Nilesh Rane on Twitter)


Feb 16, 2019
Tripura, NE, India
Naval Tejas gets airborne with weapons, ready to operate from aircraft carrier by March

By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 30th Nov 19


Four missiles are visible on the Naval LCA as it takes off from the land-based test facility in Goa on Friday

In Goa on Friday, the naval version of the Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) set a landmark by taking off with the added weight of weapons on board – two long range and two close combat air-to-air missiles.

The Tejas prototype took off from the navy’s Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF), but exactly as it would have from an aircraft carrier. Restraining gear locked the fighter’s wheels as the engine revved up to maximum power. Then, as the restraining gear disengaged, the unleashed fighter rocketed forward. Exactly 204 metres later – the length of an aircraft carrier deck – the fighter sped over a ski-jump and was airborne.

Girish Deodhare, chief of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) agency in charge of the Tejas programme, told Business Standard the Naval Tejas has now completed over 50 take-offs from the SBTF, with increasing weight and decreasing take-off distance. In addition, the naval fighter has carried out 28 arrested landings.

“We are now confident the Naval Tejas is ready for an actual carrier deck landing. In the first quarter of 2020, we will land the prototype on INS Vikramaditya and take off from the aircraft carrier as well,” Deodhare told Business Standard.

This requires the navy’s only aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, to be freed from operational duties and made available for testing. Before the first landing, the Naval Tejas will first make a few approaches for the test pilots to see how the fighter reacts to the warships “wake” – the wind turbulence created by structures on the warship, which buffets the approaching fighter. Once the pilots are comfortable with that, they will actually land the fighter on the carrier’s deck.

A carrier deck landing is best described as a “controlled crash”. The fighter’s tail hook must engage with wires laid across the landing deck, which unspool, dragging the fighter to a halt quickly. To achieve the extreme precision this requires, the fighter must descend much more sharply than in a regular landing, with the impact absorbed by the heavy landing gear that characterises naval fighters.

If the first landing and take-off goes off uneventfully, it will be followed by more, as the test pilots generate inputs to fine-tune the software that controls carrier landings and take-offs, which are largely controlled by flight computers.

At the same time, ADA and the navy would fine-tune the drills for operating a fighter from a carrier. This includes maintaining an aircraft on board, preparing it for flight, taking it on a lift from the hangers below decks to the flight deck and the drills for getting airborne and landing.

ADA sources say about 200 technicians have already lived on aircraft carriers, to fine tune maintenance and operating drills on board.

The navy, however, does not intend to induct the single-engine Naval Tejas Mark I into service – it is merely a test-bed for the aviation systems that will equip the twin-engine Naval Tejas Mark 2. The navy wants the safety back up of a second engine, the power to get airborne with more fuel and weapons, and a longer operating range.

“Using navy-specified technologies matured with the current Mark I, we are developing a twin-engine Mark 2 version, which we are calling the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TED-BF),” said Deodhare.

With the current Tejas’ single General Electric (GE) F-404 engine replaced by two, more powerful, GE F-414 engines, the TED-BF will be a far bigger and heavily armed fighter.

The current Tejas Mark 1 gets airborne with a total “all-up weight” (AUW) of 14 tonnes. The air force version of the Tejas Mark 2, which will have a single GE F-414 engine, will have an AUW of 17 tonnes. And the navy’s Tejas Mark 2 (or the TED-BF), powered by two GE F-414 engines, will have a beefy AUW of 24 tonnes, says Deodhare.

ADA is targeting 2025-26 for the first flight of the TED-BF. The navy wants the fighter to be inducted into service by 2031, to replace the MiG-29K/KUB that currently flies off INS Vikramaditya and will also serve on board the first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, when it is commissioned in 2021.

Broadsword: Naval Tejas gets airborne with weapons, ready to operate from aircraft carrier by March


Active member
Dec 6, 2019
New york
Naval Version of India’s Tejas Fighter to Conduct Maiden Flight From Carrier
Date: dec 5 2019

"Several combinations of aircraft recovery with Arresting Gear System (AGS) at SBTF have been successfully carried out by arresting the aircraft and bringing it to a halt within 90 metres,” another DRDO source said. “To date, 28 arrested landings have been successfully achieved without ever missing the arresting wire.”


Well-Known member
Jan 5, 2018
it will be a travesty if atleast a squadron of nlca is not ordered ,if for nothing else may be for shore based point defense fighter or for the role of lift

Ankit Kumar

Team StratFront
Nov 30, 2017
it will be a travesty if atleast a squadron of nlca is not ordered ,if for nothing else may be for shore based point defense fighter or for the role of lift
Funds are scarce. 44 Mig29K/KUB are enough for two Carriers as of now. More pressing needs like MH60R deal, P8I deal and Minesweepers program deserve the funding.

Even in training role, new BAE Hawks have been inducted by Navy.

NLCA will remain a Technology Demonstrator for now.


Feb 16, 2019
Tripura, NE, India
HISTORY: India’s LCA Makes 1st Landing On Aircraft Carrier Deck

By Shiv Aroor
Jan 11 2020; 12:11 pm

Making it the first homegrown aircraft to land on an aircraft carrier deck, a prototype of the naval Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) ‘trapped’ on the Indian Navy’s sole aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya today out in the Arabian Sea. Hailed as a major milestone, the Indian Navy has declared, ‘With this feat, the indigenously developed niche technologies specific to deck based fighter operations have been proven, which will now pave the way to develop and manufacture the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter for the Indian Navy.’

The historic sortie was commanded by Commodore Jaideep Maolankar, who heads the N-LCA flight test. The flight marks a milestone in a journey that has been beset with odds at virtually every level.

The debut arrested landing on INS Vikramaditya’s deck took place during a pre-scheduled operational deployment of the aircraft carrier group in the Arabian Sea, and comes four months after the N-LCA test team conducted a first full launch and recovery from the shore-based ski jump test facility at the INS Hansa air station in Goa. Arrested night landings were conducted in September last year, with the the test team quickly becoming focused on achieving a deck landing before long. That it took four months to get there will be a huge confidence boost to a team that, ironically, faces giving up the N-LCA platform entirely.

‘This is great news! Cmde Maolankar & the whole ADA team have made us proud by proving the Tejas on a carrier’s deck. The navy’s 25-year old dream has come true & its faith in ADA justified,’ said Admiral Arun Prakash (Retd.), former Indian Navy chief and a veteran aviator himself (Listen to our podcast with the Admiral here).

As Livefist recently reported, the Indian Navy has put a hard stop to the possibility of the single engine N-LCA ever becoming an operational aircraft in naval service, making it official that it will only commission a twin engine fighter platform. Despite misgivings and reservations within the DRDO that administers the LCA project, the latter has now proposed a twin-engine evolution of the Tejas to meet requirements. Designated the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF), the DRDO has laid down a six-year timeframe to first prototype flight.


Unlike the Indian Air Force’s largely troubled relationship with the LCA Tejas, the Indian Navy has been committed and supportive of the program through its life. It was in 2016, thirteen years after the project began, that the Indian Navy decided it needed a more powerful and capable aircraft for flight deck operations. The platform was also the centre of a factional spat that spilt out into the open from within the navy.

The N-LCA deck landing today will also, therefore, be a huge emotional moment. The navalised version of the LCA was something of an afterthought, with the project being commissioned in 2003, two years after the first air force prototype made its debut flight. Nevertheless, a singularly committed Indian Navy has ensured that the program quickly put together a credible deck-based jet with technologies developed in-house for the first time, including control laws, a finely tuned flight control system, a strengthened undercarriage for deck landings (helped by a consultancy with Airbus) and aerodynamics that suited tactical deck ops.

The Indian Navy has also laid preliminary groundwork for 57 future deck-based fighter aircraft for its future flat-top CATOBAR aircraft carriers, a prospective contest widely seen to be a face-off between the French Rafale and U.S F/A-18 Super Hornet. Whether the path to that contest and beyond stands queered by the emergence of the TEDBF program remains a matter of speculation even the navy isn’t fully clear about. Expect to hear more from this front soon.

Meanwhile, we’ll update this piece with photos and videos from the arrested deck landing when they’re in.


Senior Member
Dec 4, 2017
Congratulations Eshwin. Ameit Kashyap will be uploading a video on this shortly whose link I'd definitely share with you. Do remember to like share & subscribe to increase his revenues while ruing the fact that instead of him you could have made the dough & laughed all the way to the bank. But no, you had to choose the 9-5 security your job offered instead of being a celebrated vlogger.