The first squadron of home-grown Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas was inducted into Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Aircraft System Testing Establishment in Bengaluru on 1 July 2016. The squadron has been named ‘Flying Daggers’ 45.
• State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) handed over the first two Tejas aircraft to the Air Force.
• The aircraft will be operated for nearly two years by the squadron at Bengaluru before it is moved to its designated location at Sulur near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.
• According to IAF, the idea is to have a total of six aircraft this financial year 2016-17 and about eight in the financial year 2017-18. Tejas will feature in combat plan of the IAF in 2017 and will be deployed in forward bases also.
• All squadrons of Tejas will have 20 planes in total, including four in reserve. As per the plan, while 20 would be inducted under the Initial Operational Clearance, another 20 will be inducted later with Beyond Visual Range Missile (BVR) and some other features.
• IAF plans to induct over 80 aircraft with better specifications known as Tejas 1A. The upgraded version of Tejas, with Active Electrically Scanned Array Radar, Unified Electronic Warfare Suite, mid-air refueling capacity and advanced beyond the vision range missiles, will cost between 275 crore and 300 crore rupees.
• The Light Combat Aircraft Tejas is a supersonic, single-seat, single-engine multirole light fighter aircraft that uses fourth generation technologies.
• It was co-developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency in cooperation with the Bengaluru-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
• It is built from CFC materials and has unstable aerodynamics
• It is equipped with a quadruplex digital fly-by-wire flight control system to ease handling by the pilot
• It incorporates an advanced glass cockpit that comprises all the round dialed electro-mechanical instruments
• It is fitted with the coherent pulse-Doppler Multi Mode Radar that is designed to operate equally effectively in the Air to Air and Air to Surface domains.
• It is fitted with Open Architecture Computer (OAC)
This induction of the two aircrafts in the IAF helped in ending the three decades long wait of induction of a homemade aircraft in forces. India in 1970s conceptualised the idea of having an indigenous fighter aircraft but the actual work on the same was started in 1980s.