Dr. Girish Deodhare said NP5 Trainer a Production variant of the LCA-Navy Mk1 aircraft will be taking to the air in April this year and will joining be NP1 and NP2 to further progress at Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) that will act as a Testbed for the development of the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF).

NP5 will be used to carry out off-nominal landing trials to study and collect data on the stress points on the landing gears that will be crucial for the development of landing gears for the TEDBF program that has been assigned to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). NP1 and NP2 along with NP5 will be used to further collect data for the development of TEDBF.

In off-nominal landing trials, aircraft will mimic bad weather conditions that could affect aircraft while coming for landing on the decks of the aircraft carrier in adverse sea conditions. effects of such landings and stress of such landings on the rear fuselage and the landing gears are important to study stress points and design changes that could be required for the aircraft to last its operational lifespan.

Deodhare said that ADA and HAL are happy with the results of 18 take-offs and landing carried out by NP1 and NP2 on INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier last year and data is being studied to further improve the design of landing gears for the TEDBF program. NP1 initially came with over-engineered landing gears that had additional weight, which was gradually reduced with multiple redesigns and testing to reach an optimal level where safety and weight issue was addressed. TEDBF landing gears will have to sustain takeoffs and landings up to 26 tons for which it has to be able to take care of the aircraft weights but also ensured that it is not over-engineered leading to additional weight penalties.

HAL has responded to the Request for Information (RFI) issued by the United States Navy for a carrier-based trainer jet to replace its now aging T-45 Goshawk Trainers. Production variant NP5 in the future will be used for demonstration to the United States Navy for a carrier-based trainer jet if the HAL proposal is accepted and talks progress further said an informed source close to

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