India’s indigenously built Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’ formally commenced operations from the Sulur Air Force Station in Tamil Nadu on Monday. The the smallest and lightest Multi-Role Supersonic Fighter Aircraft in its class began operational two years after its induction into the Indian Air Force, an official release said.
The aircraft, part of the ‘Flying Daggers’ of the 45 Squadron, was formally operationalised at a ceremony attended by Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (Southern Air Command) RKS Bhadauria.
The fighter aircraft has been designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The single-engine, tailless aircraft would cater to the diverse needs of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy.
The Southern Air Command based in Kerala capital Tiruvananthapuram has been entrused with the responsibility of integrating the fighter aircraft, equipped with a satellite aided Inertial Navigation System, in the Air Force’s Concept of Operations.
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, the release said.
With the deployment of Tejas, the ‘Flying Daggers’ would take up wartime role towards safeguarding national skies, it said.
(With agency inputs)