Tarmak007 -- A bold blog on Indian defence: Shore-Based Test Facility nearing completion in Goa | NP-1 set for low-speed taxi trials in Bangalore

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Shore-Based Test Facility nearing completion in Goa | NP-1 set for low-speed taxi trials in Bangalore

The above photographs are likely to be the first-time (!!) shots of SBTF at INS Hansa (Goa) made available to public domain. 
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: India’s first Shore-Based Test Facility (SBTF) is nearing completion. Built at the Naval Air Station, INS Hansa in Goa, the facility would replicate as a static model of the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) being built at the Cochin Shipyard. The SBTF would have a 14 deg parabolic profile ski-jump for take-off and an arresting gear for landing.
Sources told Express that all stage design documents of the facility have been received from the Russian side. “The take-off area is nearing completion and the progress of arrester gear structure manufacturing and site work is on schedule. The factory acceptance test (FAT) of all five Russian specialized equipment has been completed at original equipment manufacturer (OEM) premises,” sources said.
The Russians (JSC Rosoboronexport) are executing the design consultancy and supply of specialized equipment work as per a 2009-pact, valued at $60 m. The approximate budget provision for Indian participants is about Rs 175 crore.
The equipment from Russian are expected this year, with the take-off area scheduled to be completed by June this year and landing area by the end of 2012.
The primary objective of SBTF is for certification of LCA Navy aircraft for ship-borne operations. This is the mandatory requirement prior to aircraft operations are taken up from the IAC (INS Vikrant) for carrier compatibility test (CCT). “The facility will ensure timely induction of Naval LCA (NLCA) into naval service and conserve ship-based test flying effort. Apart from the flight testing of NLCA, the SBTF can be subsequently used for training of naval pilots on NLCA and MiG 29K. The SBTF will be the one-of-its-kind facility in the South Asian region. The US and Ukraine have a similar facility.
The SBTF will be a equipped with restraining gear system with ski-jump for take-off, arresting gear system for landing, optical landing system, TV landing control system, light signaling system and other associated auxiliary units, exactly similar to the IAC.
Spearheaded by the NLCA programme office in Bangalore, the complete structural work and system integration of SBTF is being carried out by Goa Shipyard Ltd. The Civil Engineering activity is being undertaken by CCER&D (West), Pune in collaboration with R&DE (Engineers), Pune. A telemetry ground station with the state-of-the-art technology is being setup for flight operations by the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC), Bangalore.
While the SBTF work is probably ahead of the schedule, sources say that the eagerly-awaited first flight of NLCA (Naval Prototype NP-1) is on course. The platform is said to have undergone a trial for nose-wheel checks (70 km) on Valentine’s Day, while a LSTT (low-speed taxi trial) at a possible max speed of 140 km/hour is scheduled for February 18. This would be followed by a HSTT (high-speed taxi trial) at a maximum speed of 200-200 km/hour and then the subsequent first flight.
Copyright@The New Indian Express

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