Historic: LCA Tejas (Navy) makes successful arrested landing

Panaji: Friday, September 13, 2019, is a golden letter day in the history of Indian Naval Aviation. Reason? On this day, the First ever arrested landing of LCA (Navy) at the shore-based test facility, INS Hansa Goa took place which will pave the way for this Indigenous platform to undertake Aircraft Carrier landing demonstration onboard the Indian Naval Aircraft Carrier, Vikramaditya.

After several years of flight testing and four campaigns of dedicated testing at Shore Based Test facility Goa, today the LCA (Navy) Flight Test Team led by Cmde J A Maolankar (Chief Test Pilot), CaptShivnath Dahiya (LSO) & Cdr J D Raturi (Test Director) successfully executed textbook arrested landing at the Shore Based Test Facility, INS Hansa, Goa. This arrested landing heralds the arrival of true indigenous capability and displays the professional prowess of our scientific community Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) embedded with the design and build capability of HAL(ARDC), DRDO and CSIR Labs involved in executing this landmark event.

This event marks the start of a new era where multiple agencies have come together to achieve a common goal. The participation of Certification Agency (CEMILAC), Quality Agency (DGAQA) and above all the men and women on the ground who serviced the aircraft and monitored it during strenuous trails is truly commendable. The support of the Indian Navy through the Navy Project office and DAPM at IHQ MoD Navy is noteworthy.

This maiden arrested landing has put India on the world map as a nation with the capability to design a deck landing aircraft. Defence minister Rajnath Singh congratulated ADA, HAL, DRDO and Indian Navy for this major feat.

What is arrested landing of aircraft?

The arrested landing of a fighter jet is done using an arresting gear, or arrestor gear. Arresting gear is a mechanical system used to rapidly decelerate an aircraft as it lands. Arresting gear on aircraft carriers is an essential component of naval aviation, and it is most commonly used on CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) and STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) aircraft carriers. Similar systems are also found at land-based airfields for expeditionary or emergency use. Typical systems consist of several steel wire ropes laid across the aircraft landing area, designed to be caught by an aircraft’s tailhook. During a normal arrestment, the tailhook engages the wire and the aircraft’s kinetic energy is transferred to hydraulic damping systems attached below the carrier deck. There are other related systems which use nets to catch aircraft wings or landing gear. These barricade and barrier systems are only used for emergency arrestments for aircraft without operable tailhooks.