The Indian Air Force’s No.18 Squadron, ‘Flying Bullets’ with Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas will be operationalized on May 27 at Sulur near Coimbatore city.
“18 Sqn 'Flying Bullets' of IAF will be operationalise with indigenously built LCA Tejas at AF Stn Sulur, by Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria on 27 May 2020,” Indian defense ministry tweeted today.
The 18 Squadron was formed on April 15, 1965. It will be the second IAF squadron to fly LCA Tejas.
Tejas is an indigenous fourth-generation tailless compound delta wing fighter. It is the lightest and smallest in its group of supersonic combat aircraft.
The jet is equipped with fly-by-wire flight control system, integrated digital avionics, multimode radar and its structure is made out of composite material.
Importantly, the new Squadron will be the first with the LCA in Final Operational Clearance (FOC) configuration- with weapons.
The LCA demonstrated at the LIMA 2019 event in Lankagwi, Malaysia as part of a sales pitch to the Malaysian Air Force for its light fighter jet requirment. Having it enter IAF squadron service in sufficient numbers will greatly bolster its overall sales appeal.
The LCA is being built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under an order by the IAF.