Navy refuses to deploy overweight Tejas on aircraft carriers
New Delhi: The Indian navy on Friday refused to deploy indigenously built light combat aircraft Tejas on its aircraft carriers as the 'Made in India' aircraft doesn't meet navy's requirements.
The Naval Staff Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, while refusing to deploy Tejas for being overweight, said that the navy was planning to procure an alternative aircraft.
"As far as the 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 Vikramaditya and will operate from (indigenous aircraft carrier) IAC Vikrant.
"We were looking forward to operate the LCA (Light Combat Aircraft-Tejas) from these two aircraft carriers.
"Unfortunately, the LCA has failed to meet the carrier's required capability. This is the reason why we need and alternative aircraft to operate from these two aircraft carriers," said Lanba.
He further stated that currently, the navy is looking for the aircraft that will fulfill the required criteria.
"Looking around the world, we don't find much LCA options and we are in need of this carrier capable aircraft as early as possible. So, I am looking at next five-six years," he said.
LCA-Tejas is an indigenously built light combat aircraft that has already been inducted into the Indian Air Force.
Lamba further added that the navy was still encouraging India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to develop the Naval LCA.
He informed that the navy was also in search of UAVs that are capable of operating from ships and autonomous sub-surface vehicles for surveillance purposes.