WATCH: Indian Navy carries out maiden landing of LCA Tejas, MiG-29K on INS Vikrant


New Delhi: The Indian Navy’s single engine Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and the Russian MiG-29K carried out their maiden landings on the sprawling deck of India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, making the moment special as well as historic.

The maiden landing took place as part of the aviation trials by Indian Naval Test Pilots and videos of the event have been going viral on social media.

The first landing of the naval version of the domestically manufactured LCA on the 45,000-tonne INS Vikrant, commissioned in September last year, has been termed as a “historic milestone” by the Indian Navy.

The Navy further said that it “demonstrates India’s capability to design, develop, construct and operate indigenous aircraft carriers with indigenous fighter aircraft.”

“The successful landing and take-off of the indigenous LCA Navy on India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier is a momentous step forward towards the realisation of our collective vision of AatmaNirbharBharat. The maiden landing of the MiG-29K also heralds the integration of the fighter aircraft with INS Vikrant. Congratulations to all those who made it happen,” the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar said.

For the unversed, India has been without an operational aircraft carrier for almost three years now. The older 44,500-tonne INS Vikramaditya, which India acquired from Russia at a price of $2.33 billion over a decade ago, is yet to become operational after a major refit-and-maintenance cycle.

The Indian Navy plans to use 12 MiG-29K fighter jets on the INS Vikrant, as well as bolster its fleet by procuring 26 F/A-18E or Rafale M fighters.

INS Vikrant

INS Vikrant is the largest-ever warship to be built in India. Manufactured at a cost of about Rs 20,000 crore, it will become fully combat-ready once the MiG-29Ks complete the crucial trials from its flight deck.

"The entire envelope of intricate fighter flight trials will take 3-4 months. Most of the helicopter trials and weapon firings are, however, complete,” a report by ToI quoted an officer saying.

The aircraft carrier has been designed by Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau and constructed by M/s Cochin Shipyard Limited. It commenced its maiden trials in August 2021 and got commissioned into the Navy on 2 September, 2022.

INS Vikrant has been conducting several air operations since 13 December, 2022, with fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft to achieve Air Certification and Flight Integration Trials and ultimately become ‘combat ready’.

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WATCH: Indian Navy carries out maiden landing of LCA Tejas, MiG-29K on INS Vikrant
WATCH: Indian Navy carries out maiden landing of LCA Tejas, MiG-29K on INS Vikrant
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