Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria flew a Tejas single-seater light combat aircraft at the Sulur air force station on Wednesday. Officials said Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria, who worked with the team that developed the Tejas jet, flew the aircraft which is part of the IAF’s 45 Squadron. The Chief of Air Staff was in Sulur to operationalise the IAF’s 18 Squadron, which is codenamed as ‘Flying Bullets’. It will be the second squadron in the Indian Air Force to fly the Tejas aircraft.
The Tejas has been developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency and the HAL. The lifespan of the jet would be a minimum of 30 years just like any other front-line combat aircraft.
The combat jets are classified under various generations depending on their avionics, capability and weapons systems. The current fleet of fighter jets with the IAF range from three-and-half generation to the fourth generation.
The Indian Air Force has already placed an order for 40 Tejas and is likely to seal a contract “very soon” with HAL for another 83 aircraft at a cost of around Rs 38,000 crore.
A naval version of the Tejas light combat aircraft is in development stage.