New Delhi: In a major boost for indigenous fighter aircraft programme, the Indian Air Force (IAF) deployed the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas on the western front along the Pakistan border in view of the tensions with China on the Ladakh front.
“The Tejas was deployed by the Indian Air Force on the western front close to the Pakistan border to take care of any possible action by the adversary there,” government sources told media. The first Tejas squadron, 45 Squadron (Flying Daggers) based out of Sulur under the Southern Air Command, was deployed in an operational role there, the sources said.
The indigenous Tejas aircraft had been praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech where he had stated that the deal to buy the Tejas MK-1A version was expected to be completed soon.
While the first squadron of the planes is of the Initial Operational Clearance version, the second 18 Squadron ‘Flying Bullets’ is of the Final Operational Clearance version and was operationalized by the IAF chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria at the Sulur airbase on May 27.
The Indian Air Force and the Defence Ministry are expected to finalise the deal for the 83 MK-1A aircraft by the end of this year. In view of the Chinese aggression on the borders, the IAF had deployed its assets all along the borders with both China and Pakistan.
The forward airbases of the force have been equipped to take care of situations along the western and northern fronts and have seen extensive flying operations in the recent past, including both daytime and night operations.