IAC Vikrant has sailed out for the next set of sea trials. While the maiden sea trials in August last year were to establish propulsion, navigational suite and basic operations, the second sea trial later in October-November witnessed the ship being put through its paces in terms of various machinery trials and flight trials, and the IAC is now undertaking complex manoeuvres to establish specific readings of how the ship performs in various conditions. Various sensor suites of the ship would also be tested. On successfully completing a series of progressive sea trials, the ship is scheduled to be commissioned as INS Vikrant later this year, as the nation commemorates ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
TRIALS OF NAVAL VERSION OF RAFALE COMMENCES
Media report (Hindustan Times January 10, 2022, Rahul Singh) indicate that the French-origin Rafale-M fighter aircraft has commenced a demonstration to showcase its capability to take off from an angled ski-jump and prove its compatibility with the Indian Navy’s aircraft carriers at a shore-based test facility (SBTF) at INS Hansa, Goa. Reports indicate that the Rafale-M demonstration of capability will be followed by a similar demonstration by the US-origin F-18 fighters in the near future. A prototype of the naval version of the Light Combat Aircraft landed and took off from INS Vikramaditya in January 2020 in a significant step towards India developing its own deck-based fighters.