SuperSonic at all altitutes > 15 km
+9 / -3.5
Relaxed Static Stability
Fly-by-wire flight control
LCA IN Nutshell
Single-seat light weight all-weather multi-role air superiority Fighter
Tail-less Compound delta planform with relaxed static stability
One low by-pass KAVERI turbofan engine
Materials include Aluminium - Lithium alloys , Titanium alloy Carbon compositites. Composities for wing (skin , spars and ribs ) fuselage (doors and skins), elevons, fin, rudder, airbrakes and landing gear doors
Multimode pulse Doppler with multitarget search, track-while-scan and ground mapping
Glass cockpit with two Multi Function Displays, Head-Up Display , Multi Function Keyboard and Get-You-Home Panel
Configured around three MIL-STD-1553B digital data buses, 32 - bit mission computer with software written using ADA language
Quadruplex Digital Fly-by-wire flight control system.
Seven stations for a wide range of air-to-air missiles,anti-ship missiles, unguided rockets, conventional / retarded bombs. Provision for Drop tanks
, Recce Pods, EW and other sensor pods
LCA is the smallest light weight multirole combat aircraft in the world. Incorporating state-of-the-art technologies in
every aspect of design and development, this single-seat single-engine tactical fighter from India is among the best in the world.
LCA is India's first modern fighter aircraft, designed specifically to meet the requirements of the Indian Air Force. LCA brings together decades of scientific and technological research in this country. From test facilities to computer
simulation and composite materials to digital flight control system, world class technologies have been established in the country for the LCA programme. These form the foundation for future combat aircraft projects of India. Development work on a fully operational LCA trainer version and an LCA naval version capable of operation from aircraft carriers are presently on hand.
LCA aerodynamic configuration has been evolved to meet the demands of modern combat. Extensive wind tunnel testing on scale models and complex computational fluid dynamic analyses have optimised the aerodynamic
configuration of LCA, giving it minimum supersonic drag, low wing loading and high rates of roll & pitch.
The tailless compound delta planform helps in keeping LCA small and light. It also means fewer control surfaces, wider choice of external stores and better close combat, high-speed and high-alpha characteristics.
LCA has been designed to be unstable. Relaxed static stability gives improved aerodynamic efficiency and enhanced
agility and manoeuvrability.
The wing shielded side mounted bifurcated Y-duct air intake with optimised diverter configuration ensures buzz free air supply to the engine, at acceptable distortion levels.
A number of aerodynamic devices have been developed to further improve aerodynamic efficiency and performance of LCA.
AIRFRAME & ALL-weather capability
Advanced composites constitute more than 40% of the LCA airframe including wings, fin and fuselage, resulting in significant weight reduction. Co-cured cobonded technology for fuselage components, fin, rudder, elevons, airbrake and landing gear doors has ensured cost-effectiveness. The radome is made of Kevlar. The airframe has been strengthened to withstand high 'g'
manoeuvres during close combat. Static and fatigue strength studies on finite element models, and aeroservoelastic studies have optimised the airframe for high strength and durability.
LCA is designed for active combat in any adverse weather condition. The composite materials used for airframe construction, and all the software driven processor based electronics need to be protected from lightning strikes. Lightning protection schemes have been developed
based on high-voltage and high-current tests in the Lightning Test Facility set up at Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS).
Power Plant & Fuel System
LCA will be powered by a low bypass augmented turbofan Kaveri engine developed by Gas Turbine Research Establishment. This features a
Full Authority Digital Electronic Control Unit and a flat rated thrust at high ambient temperatures to enhance combat power. A jet fuel starter is used to start the engine on the ground, and also for relighting during flight.Fuel tanks are integrated into the fuselage and wings. For extended range, additional 800 lt / 1200 lt fuel tanks are carried at midboard / inboard wing stations and also at centreline station under the fuselage. The inflight refuelling probe further
extends the range and endurance.
For a modern combat aircraft, successful deployment of weapons is its primary misssion. LCA is a precision weapon launch platform with multirole capability.
A choice of three hard points below each wing, and one under
the fuselage gives considerable flexibility to carry a variety of missiles, bombs and rockets, as per mission requirements : air-to-air, air-to-ground or air-to-sea. High manoeuvrability and carefree handling capability of the aircraft combined with advanced cockpit, digital avionics and weapon system interface give LCA very good point and shoot capability with quick turn around time.
Effective pilot-vehicle interface for easy interpretation of targets, a host of
sensors ensuring early threat detection and a low visual signature give LCA an upper hand in close air combat. Supersonic speeds at all altitudes and the availability of high performance radar give effective Beyond Visual Range (BVR) attack capability to LCA.For futher enhancing mission effectiveness and multirole capability, additional sensors for guidance, navigation, reconnaissance and electronic warfare are carried.
Avionics plays a major role in a modern combat aircraft. The Integrated Digital Avionics Suite of LCA is characterised by its interface with all other aircraft systems such as Utility Systems Management System (USMS), Proplsion System, Electrical System and Flight control System.
LCA Avionics architecture is configured around
a three bus system (MIL-STD-1553B) in a distributed environment. The heart of the system is a 32-bit Mission Computer (MC) which performs mission oriented computations, flight management, reconfiguration / redundancy management and in-flight system self-tests. In compliance with MIL-STD-1521 and 2167A standards, Ada language has been adopted for mission computer software.Accurate navigation and guidance is realised through RLG based Inertial Navigation System (INS) with provision
for INS / Global Positioning System (GPS) integration. Jam resistant radio commumication system with advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) environment. In the EW suite, Electromagnetic and Electroptic receivers and jammers provide the necessary "soft-kill" capability.
Cockpit & Radar
The new-generation glass cokpit of LCA incorporates latest Avionics systems and an effective pilot-vehicle interface. Two Multi Function Displays present required information to the pilot. Critical information required in close combat situations is flashed onto the Head Up Display. Hands on Throttle and Stick (HOTAS)
concept ensures availability of every control needed during a critical combat situation, right under the fingers of the pilot.
Airframe and All weather capability
Power Plant and Fuel System
Cockpit and Radar
Flight Control System (FCS)
ADA Main Building
A bubble canopy provides excellent all-round view to the pilot, which is very critical during close air-to-air combat.The advanced multi-mode radar takes care of detection, tracking, terrain avoidance and delivery of guided weapons. The
track-while-scan feature keeps track of multiple targets and also allows simultaneous multiple target engagement. Pulse-Doppler gives the look-down shoot-down capability. Ground mapping feature, frequency agility and other ECCM techniques make the radar truly state-of-the-art.
The Environmental Control System (ECS) is designed to give a high degree of comfort to the pilot and to provide adequate cooling to all onboard electronic systems. The compressed
air for pressurisation of cockpit, radar and fuel tank is also supplied by ECS.
Flight Control System
Digital fly-by-wire Flight Control System is another advanced feature of LCA. The unstable configuration of LCA demands a highly efficient
Integrated Flight Control System (IFCS) to fly the aircraft. Control law resident in the flight control computer synthesises inputs from pilot's stick and rudder pedals with flight parameters from inertial and airdata measurements to generate commands to the actuators that move various control surfaces. The design of the control law is evaluated susing real-time flight simulator for acceptable flight handling qualities. The IFCS ensures stability, agility, manoeuvrability
and carefree handling over the entire operating envelope of LCA. The Digital Flight Control Computer (DFCC) is the heart of IFCS, and uses a quadruplex redundant system to achieve high reliability and safety.
Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) activity is an integral part of the Software development process. From requirement specification to final testing, IV&V ensures correctness, consistency, completeness and adherence to MIL standards of
The flight control system along with all the associated software is tested and validated at the iron-bird rig.