On the Day, Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria operationalized No. 18 Squadron, ‘Flying Bullets’, second indigenous LCA-Tejas Squadron at the Sulur air base, Second Final Operation Clearance (FOC) certified LCA-Tejas SP-18 was also sported in full IAF livery ready to join the second squadron in next few days.

According to media reports, SP-18 will commence its Low and High-speed trials soon and will complete its first flight soon and after mandatory pre-delivery flight tests it will be flown to Sulur for official handover to the 18 Squadron, ‘Flying Bullets’.

SP-19 will go to the paint shop next month and it is expected that the first flight will be concluded by the end of June. According to HAL, the Delivery schedule of Tejas Mk1 for FY20-21 will be 12 aircraft (till SP-28) and for FY21-22 (till SP32) Plus 8 FOC certified Tejas Mk1 Trainer aircraft, which due to COVID-19 virus situation might extend to FY22-23.

Post deliveries of all 40 Tejas Mk1 orders they will be some idling in the production line before Tejas MK1A delivery commences in FY 2023-24 at a rate of 16 aircraft per year initially first 10 aircraft will also being Trainer aircraft.


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