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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

The INS Vikrant, which began trials of the southern state of Kerala on Wednesday will be carrying out series of Sea-based trials for the next few months before it will be cleared to commence the Flight Deck Certification (FDC) trial that will involve Russian developed deck based Mig-29K fighter aircraft along with India’s locally developed LCA-Navy Mk1 fighter jets that will carry out multiple launches and recovery of the aircraft over a week at sea by mid of 2022.

To Certify Vikrant’s flight deck, the ship is required to complete over 100 day and 20-30 night launches and recovery over a short span of days to reach this milestone in Vikrant’s operational readiness. Vikrant’s flight deck will also have to carry out multiple launches of back-to-back deck-based fighter jets and also recover them minutes apart before certification can be awarded.

Indian Navy is collaborating with the U.S Navy to carry out Flight Deck Certification (FDC) and Carrier Air Traffic Control Center (CATCC) Certification of the INS Vikrant. It’s still not clear if this collaboration will involve the deployment of the U.S Naval special aircraft carrier certification team or Indian Navy will only follow guidelines set by them since aircraft to be used in FDC are non-American deck-based fighter jets.

LCA-Navy is a Technology Demonstrator (TD) program that has demonstrated multiple launches and recovery of the aircraft from India’s INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier last year and will continue to be used as a TD program for the upcoming Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) of the Navy. Indian state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has offered to develop LCA-Navy based Lead-in fighter training (LIFT) for advanced training of the next generation of pilots based on the proposed airforce variant of LIFT that is under development.

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