Bengaluru/New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) The first squadron of the indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft Tejas — christened ‘Flying Daggers 45’ — was inducted into the Indian Air Force on Friday.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) handed over the two LCAs to the Indian Air Force.
IAF officers had earlier said that the first LCA squadron will be based in Bengaluru in Karnataka for two years before shifting to Sulur in Tamil Nadu.
Starting with two aircraft, the squadron will get six more jets by 2017 to make it fully operational.
The LCA is far superior to Pakistan’s JF-17 built jointly with China, the IAF had mentioned.
The indigenous fighter jet, which is still to get full operational clearance, is expected to get into combat role next year, officials had said.
IAF’s squadron number 45, ‘Flying Daggers’, has to its credit the shooting down of a Pakistani naval surveillance aircraft in 1999, some 300 km northeast of Karachi, killing all 16 people on board.
The squadron, which was based at Nalia air base in Gujarat, was flying the MIG-21 Bis at that time.
The first Tejas squadron will consist of 20 aircraft, with four in reserve.