Air Marshal pilots Tejas, pushes for early operationalisation of fleet

Air Marshal pilots Tejas, pushes for early operationalisation of fleet

BENGALURU: Giving another push for early operationalisation of the indigenous fighter jet Tejas into the Indian Air Force, Air Marshal RKH Bhadauria, Air Officer Commanding in Chief (AOCIC) of the Southern Air Command, undertook a 30-minute solo flight of the aircraft at the HAL Airport here on Tuesday.

"The Flying Daggers," which was the first squadron to be equipped with the Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas in July last year, played hosts to the Air Marshal who himself has been associated with the Tejas Programme for the last 15 years.

The Air Marshal went through the rigours of ground training, simulator flying and familiarization sortie in the trainer version, before going solo in the fighter aircraft.

The LCA Squadron is expected to move to its permanent location at Sulur, near Coimbatore, next year. It is currently engaged in training of Air and Ground Crew, formulation of procedures and realisation of the operational potential of the aircraft.

Besides the Republic Day Flypast in January this year and the Air Force Day Flypasts for the last two years, the squadron has also undertaken detachments at operational bases to test the weapon capability of Tejas.

Currently, defence PSU, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has the production capacity of eight LCAs per annum and is ramping up the capacity to 16. The ramping-up cost is shared equally by HAL and IAF/Navy. Major sub-assembly such as front, centre and rear fuselages and wings have been outsourced to the private players.

DH News Service

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