India’s Shore-based Test Facility (SBTF) at Goa’s INS Hansa air station is a bustling facility now. After launching and trapping Russian-built MiG-29Ks for months now, it launched an LCA Navy in January, and is getting all set for a lot of activity starting March when the second LCA Navy prototype (NP2) heads to Goa to join carrier compatibility tests. There’s a good chance foreign aircraft could use the facility soon too.
The SBTF won’t have any shortage of work in the foreseeable future — apart from the Vikramaditya, the country’s first Vikrant-class indigenous aircraft carrier is also a STOBAR boat. The Indian Navy’s vision on moving away from STOBAR into the realm of catapult operations won’t yield anything anytime soon, though the groundwork was recently laid when India and the U.S. decided to work together and talk about EMALS technology, sparking speculation over whether the second or third ship in the Vikrant-class would be reconfigured for CATOBAR operations.