Indigenous fighter aircraft Tejas of No 45 Squadron (The Flying Daggers) of Indian Air Force (IAF) has formally commenced operations from Sulur Air Force Station in Tamil Nadu. With deployment of Tejas, its squadron ‘Flying Daggers’ took up active wartime role towards safeguarding national skies.
Southern Air Command (SAC) based at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala has been entrusted with responsibility of integrating Tejas fighter aircraft in IAF’s Concept of Operations. It has been involved in training aircrew of fighter aircraft Tejas. Sulur Air Force Station will now undertake operations and maintenance of the indigenous fighter aircraft.
Tejas figher aircraft
Tejas is the first advanced fly-by-wire Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) designed, developed and manufactured indigenously by state owned Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL). It is lightweight single-seat multi-role jet fighter. It has been pegged as world’s smallest and lightest supersonic fighter. It is powered by a single engine. It has tailless and compound delta wing design.
It was developed and manufactured under Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters. It is equipped with satellite-aided Inertial Navigation System. It has digital computer-based attack system and autopilot mode. It can fire Air to Air missiles, carry bombs and precision guided ammunition. It has limited reach of a little over 400-km. It will be mainly used for close air-to-ground operations.
Note: LCA Tejas is not India’s first indigenous fighter to be inducted into IAF. In April 1967, IAF had formed the first operational squadron with the indigenous HF-24 Marut fighter.