After waiting for over 30 years, the Indian Air Force on Friday got its first two Tejas aircrafts that will be part of its first squadron of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft.
The two jets will be part of the 'Flying Daggers 45' - the name of the first squadron of the LCA - which will be based in Bangalore for the first two years before being moved to Sulur in Tamil Nadu.
And the aircraft was given a grand welcome on it's first day in the Indian Air Force with pujas and water fountains:
Multi-religious prayer ceremonies being held at the induction ceremony of Tejas aircraft into IAF. pic.twitter.com/RZik7tAUNk— ANI (@ANI_news) July 1, 2016
Multi-religious prayer ceremonies being held at the induction ceremony of Tejas aircraft into the Indian Air Force pic.twitter.com/ThqsVq537S— ANI (@ANI_news) July 1, 2016
Air force officers break coconuts prior to induction of Tejas aircraft into IAF in a multi religious prayer ceremony pic.twitter.com/Gz4PxfNAFB— ANI (@ANI_news) July 1, 2016
Water salute for the newly inducted Light Combat Aircraft Tejas Aircraft, in Bengaluru. pic.twitter.com/xp66oDqw4g— ANI (@ANI_news) July 1, 2016
Its first flight went off very smoothly:
And it got a good review :
The IAF is expecting to get six aircraft this financial year and about eight in the next. IAF officials say the Tejas will feature in combat plan of the IAF in 2017 and will be deployed in forward bases also.
Tejas will replace the MiG 21s and will be used for air-to-air fight and ground attacks. It could also be a compliment to bigger fighter planes such as Su 30 MKI.
All squadrons of Tejas will be made up of 20 planes in total, including four in reserve.
The upgraded version of Tejas, with Active Electrically Scanned Array Radar, Unified Electronic Warfare Suite, mid-air refuelling capacity and advanced beyond the vision range missiles, will cost between Rs 275 crore and Rs 300 crore.
Featured image: Tejas Official Site