The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) successfully made the naval variant of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, which became the first Indian aircraft to achieve a successful "arrested landing". The landing is said to be a major step towards making the jet ready for Navy use. A defence source informed media that the Naval LCA made a successful landing on an SBTF (shore-based test facility) in Goa.
The Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF), replicates the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. The Goa SBTF was specially built to train naval pilots for complex manoeuvres of landing. After a series of landing on SBTF, the LCA will attempt a landing on the deck carrier of INS Vikramaditya.
The LCA Navy has been built especially with strong landing gears. In 2016, the Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba had revealed that the LCA in the current form is not compatible with the carrier capabilities required by Navy. The Navy presently operates the Russian MiG-29K fighters from INS Vikramaditya, which will also fly from the first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant, once it enters service. The Navy is currently evaluating global tenders for 57 carrier-based twin-engine fighter aircraft.
Navy Chief, Admiral Sunil Lanba on April 20 had said IAC-1 or INS Vikrant will be delivered to Indian Navy by 2021. The Navy hopes to have a third aircraft carrier in the near future to counter China's growing might in the Indian Ocean region. The Indian Navy needs several fighter jets for its future aircraft carriers. An official statement said, "This arrested landing heralds the arrival of true indigenous capability and displays the professional prowess of our scientific community. The ADA is embedded with design plus build capability of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Aircraft Research& Research Centre (ARDC), DRDO and Council of Scientific& Industrial Research (CSIR) Labs involved in executing this landmark event."