Amid border tensions with China on the Ladakh front, the Indian Air Force Force (IAF) has deployed indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas along the Pakistan border.
“The Indian Air Force, IAF deploys Tejas fighter Jets on the western front close to the Pakistan border to take care of any possible action by the adversary there,” government sources told ANI.
The IAF had earlier moved some of its frontier fighters such as Sukhoi-30s and upgraded MiG-29s to the Ladakh sector from other bases as part of India’s overarching plan to strengthen its military posture in the region where heightened tensions between India and China have upset the bilateral relationship, they said.
This is a significant achievement for the indigenous fighter aircraft program considering LCA is India’s first indigenous fighter aircraft.
The first LCA Tejas squadron called Flying Daggers based out of Sulur under the Southern Air Command, was deployed in an operational role there, a source said.
The indigenous Tejas aircraft had been praised by PM Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech, where he had stated that the deal to buy the LCA Mark1A version was expected to be completed soon.
While the first squadron of the planes is of the Initial Operational Clearance version, the second 18 Squadron ‘Flying Bullets’ is of the Final Operational Clearance version and was operationalised by the IAF chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria at the Sulur airbase on May 27, ANI reported.
The Indian Air Force and the defense ministry are expected to finalize the deal for the 83 Mark-1A aircraft by the end of this year. In view of the Chinese aggression on the borders, the IAF had deployed its assets all along the borders with both China and Pakistan.
The forward airbases of the force have been equipped to take care of situations along the western and northern fronts and have seen extensive flying operations in the recent past, including both daytime and night operations.