The Indian Air Force is armed with two home-built light combat aircraft, forming its first squadron for the Tejas fighter, called the “Flying Daggers”.
Tejas is a light weight, single engine, multi-role supersonic fighter that adopts fly by wire technology, computer controlled cockpit that helps pilots handle the plane better electronically.
The aircraft is powered by a GE-404 engine and an advanced version that will see modifications in the structure. It will have a more powerful GE-414 power plant made by General Electric.
The aircraft is designed by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), a unit of India’s defence research and development organisation (DRDO). Hindustan Aeronautics, the public sector plane maker, will manufacture the aircraft at its facility in Bengaluru.
The planes will be initially based in the IAF Sulur base in Coimbatore, allowing air force pilots to fly the single-engine fighter before it is deployed on operational roles.
Eighteen more aircrafts, including four trainers would join the squadron by 2018.