First squadron of LCA Tejas inducted into Indian Air Force
Tejas, India's first indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), was inducted into Indian Air Force (IAF) at a ceremony in Bengaluru. The aircraft developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) has been inducted in to the new Squadron 45 ‘Flying Daggers’, which will get the remaining 18 aircraft including four trainers in 2018. Sulur in Tamil Nadu has been chosen as the LCA base.
Facts about LCA Tejas
- The LCA project began in 1985 and the IAF planned to induct it in 1994 to replace the MiG-21s. Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) was set up by the government to develop the programme.
- After long delays, on January 4th, 2001, the light combat aircraft made its first flight, a milestone in the Indian aviation industry. Then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee named the aircraft ‘Tejas’ – which means ‘radiance’ in Sanskrit.
- Tejas is a single engined, light weight, highly agile, multi-role supersonic fighter. It has been pegged as world’s smallest and lightest supersonic fighter. The aircraft has a tail-less compound delta-wing configuration, which gives it high maneuverablility. It is powered by a single engine.
- The aircraft’s structure is composed of 42% carbon fibre composites, 43% aluminium alloy and the remainder titanium alloy. It is equipped to handle air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, anti-ship missiles, bombs and rockets.
- The aircraft can travel at a maximum speed of 2,205 km/hr for FOC version and 2,000 km/hr for IOC version. The Tejas is the second supersonic fighter developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) after the HAL HF-24 Marut.
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