HAL Tejas supersonic fighter jets inducted into Indian Air Force

BENGALURU: HAL Tejas, also known as the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project, has been inducted into the Indian Air Force. Two of the single-engine multi-role fighter jets, pegged to be the world's smallest and lightest supersonic fighter, were handed over to the Air Force. They will be stationed in Bengaluru, as part of the first Tejas squadron called 'Flying Daggers'.



Friday marked the end of a 33-year-old wait for an indigenous fighter, but Tejas still has a lot of imported material in it, including its heart, a GE engine.

As TOI has reported earlier, the Flying Daggers squadron will have the SP-1 and SP-2 versions of Tejas. The squadron is expected to reach full strength by 2018-2020. Six more Tejas fighters are expected to be inducted into the squadron by the end of the current financial year.

Group Captain M Rangachari will be the first Commanding Officer of the Flying Daggers squadron. He will have seven officers under him initially, 42 air warriors and about 20 non-commissioned officers.

Dr Kota Harinarayana, termed the father of LCA, said decades of hard work and learning have finally paid off.



Air Marshal Jasbir Walia, Air Officer Commanding-in Chief of the Air Force's Southern Command and Deputy Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Baduria were also present on Friday, filling in for Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, who had flown in the Tejas last month and said the plane is fit for induction.


HAL is expected to deliver two more aircraft in the next few months. Sources in HALsaid that the third aircraft would be delivered by the end of the next month end. There is no confirmation on when the fourth will be delivered.
IAF had been speaking about inducting the LCA from as early as 2011. However, multiple shortcomings and changes in the requirements and other delays in the project has pushed the induction this far.


Even the first few aircraft delivered to the IAF will not exactly be completely combat ready, but Team Tejas is confident of plugging all gaps for the IAF in the future.

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