Coimbatore, July 3: Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas was formally inducted into Indian Air Force (IAF)'s 'Flying Daggers' squadron, which earlier had Russian MiG-21s. The IAF is looking at adding 14 Tejas aircraft in the next two years as it seeks to replace the old Russian MiG-21s.
The indegenously developed fighter aircraft, Tejas, is said to be the smallest and lightest supersonic fighter aircraft of their class.
Tejas of No 45 Squadron 'The Flying Daggers' formally commenced operations from the Air Force Station at Sulur near Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, under Group Captain S Dhankhar on Monday.
The Southern Air Command base at Tiruvananthapuram, Kerala has been entrusted with the responsibility of integrating the fighter in Air Force's Concept of Operations, a PTI report said.
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (Southern Air Command) RKS Bhadauria formally took part in the inaugural ceremony, an official release said.
Tejas is the first advanced Fly-by-wire fighter aircraft designed, developed and manufactured in India by Bengaluru headquartered HAL. It is equipped with a satellite aided Inertial Navigation System.
The aircraft has a digital computer based attack system and autopilot mode. It can fire Air to Air Missiles, carry bombs and Precision Guided ammunition.
The 'No 45 Squadron' has been involved in training aircrew and would now undertake operations and maintenance of the aircraft under Group Captain S Dhankhar.
With the deployment of Tejas, the 'Flying Daggers' would take up wartime role towards safeguarding national skies, the release said.
Air Marshal R K S Bhadauria congratulated the personnel and lauded the efforts put in by the operations, maintenance and administration brances of the Air Force Station Sulur, it said.
Tejas is a single-seat, single-jet engine, a multirole light fighter designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The cost of operating a single-engine fighter is lesser than that of a double-engine fighter.
OneIndia News with PTI inputs