HAL Tejas inducted into Indian Air Force, PM Narendra Modi expresses pride

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed pride and happiness over the induction of indigenously-built Tejas fighter jet into the Indian Air Force.  

Last Updated: Jul 01, 2016, 15:51 PM IST
HAL Tejas inducted into Indian Air Force, PM Narendra Modi expresses pride

Bengaluru: The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Friday inducted two home- grown Light Combat Aircraft Tejas into its `Flying Daggers` 45 Squadron here, 33 years after it was cleared for development.

State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) handed over the first two Tejas aircraft to the IAF at a ceremony preceded by inter-faith prayers at the Aircraft System Testing Establishment here.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed pride and happiness over the induction of indigenously-built Tejas fighter jet into the Indian Air Force.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar also congratulated on the induction and said the planes will be a force multiplier.

Southern Air Command Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Air Marshal Jasbir Walia received the certified documents of the indigenous fighters from HAL chairman T Suvarna Raju at a function here.

IAF test pilot and commanding officer of `Flying Daggers` Group Captain Madhav Rangachari flew one of the multi-role aircraft for about 10 minutes from the Aircraft System Testing Establishment of the Air Force under a cloudy sky and windy conditions.

The aircraft was named "Tejas" (meaning radiance in Sanskrit) by Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister.

 

The squadron will be based in Bengaluru for the first two years before it is moved to Sulur in Tamil Nadu.

The only of its kind fighter in the world, the `Made in India` Tejas has been designed and developed by state-run Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and built by HAL at its Bengaluru complex in the city`s eastern suburb,

Prior to its induction, the fourth generation-plus advanced fly-by-wire fighter has flown about 3,000 sorties for 2,000 hours till date without a single mishap.

Equipped with the latest satellite-aided inertial navigation system, the tandem twin-seater supersonic aircraft has a digital computer-based attack system and an autopilot.

The fighter is capable of carrying four tonnes of weapons and firing air-to-air missiles and precision-guided munitions like laser-guided bombs.

The LCA is also equipped with a helmet-mounted display and has a distinctive `glass cockpit` in which information is displayed real-time to the pilot.

 

The IAF, which plans to induct six aircraft this financial year and about eight in the next, has said Tejas will feature in its combat plan next year and would be deployed in forward bases also.

LCA will eventually replace the ageing fleet of MiG-21 planes.

All squadrons of Tejas will be made up of 20 planes, including four in reserve.

As per the plan, 20 would be inducted under the "Initial Operational Clearance" and another 20 later with Beyond Visual Range Missile (BVR) and certain 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 refuelling capacity and advanced BVRs, will cost between Rs 275 crore and Rs 300 crore.

The idea to have an indigenous fighter aircraft was conceptualised in the 1970s, but actual work started on the aircraft project only in the 1980s.

The first flight took place in January 2001 after the project often ran into rough weather and came in for criticism over the delay.

(With Agency inputs)