New Delhi, December 3 (NIA): The Indian Navy has dumped the indigenously developed naval version of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and said it was “not up to the mark yet”, the Indian media reported on Friday..
The Navy has now initiated a hunt for another fighter aircraft to operate from its aircraft carrier. The country’s first indigenously built combat aircraft was recently inducted into the Indian Air Force to the fill gap left by the depleting fleet of MiG -21.
“Unfortunately, the LCA is not being able to meet the carrier’s required capability. That is why we need an alternative aircraft to operate from these two aircraft carriers,” Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said while terming the indigenous aircraft “overweight”.
The Ministry of Defense had allocated INR 3,650 crore (INR 36500 million) for the naval program and only in May last, the aircraft had made its successful flight test in Goa.
“As far as carrier-based aircraft is concerned, we need it in a time line of the induction of the aircraft carrier. We have the MiG-29K, which operates from INS Vikramaditya and will operate from (indigenous aircraft carrier) INS Vikrant. We were also hoping to operate the LCA from these two aircraft carriers,” the Chief said adding that the Navy was still encouraging the Defense Research and Development Organisation to develop the LCA for Navy but with upgrades.
At the moment, the Navy is in the process of identifying aircraft that would meet its requirements, he said.
“If you look around the world, there are not too many options available and we need this carrier capable aircraft sooner than later. So, I am looking at the next five-six years.”