SOURCE: ABHINANDAN RAO / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
After coming under criticism for fielding inferior Mig-21Bis against Superior Pakistani F-16 in the recent aerial clash near the line of control (LOC), Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa who was questioned recently why India’s homegrown LCA-Tejas fighter jet was stationed in down south India, far away from the border with Pakistan when the need was to have them near the border.
Dhanoa clarified that once the foundation for second LCA-Tejas Squadron is done, first Squadron will be shifted to forward base close to Pakistan border likely in 2020. First Squadron Flying Daggers No. 45 is currently carrying out Initial user operational flying of LCA-Tejas aircraft delivered to them and in the process is also training its engineering crew to carry out routine maintenance with help of HAL.
No. 45 Squadron Indian Air Force (Flying Daggers) which is based at Sulur Air force station in Tamil Nadu is yet to gain full squadron strength which likely will happen by end of this year, the formation of the second squadron will start, once the fresh batch of FOC Certified LCA-Tejas MK1 aircrafts start arriving from October on wards .
Dhanoa last month at FOC certification handover ceremony of LCA-Tejas had said that LCA-Tejas behaves like a fighter aircraft and also act like one and air force has total confidence in the capabilities of the aircraft as recently demonstrated at the Iron fist Air exercise and now are flown regularly by the first Squadron in regular operating conditions.
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