Tarmak007 -- A bold blog on Indian defence: Tarmak007 Special: No. 45 Flying Daggers will be Tejas first Squadron

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tarmak007 Special: No. 45 Flying Daggers will be Tejas first Squadron

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has begun the preparations for formation of the first squadron of Tejas in Bangalore. The No 45 Squadron will be known as Flying Daggers (same as  MiG-21/MiG-21 Bis Sqn). Air Cmdr B.R. Krishna, Chief Test Pilot, Aircraft Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), Bangalore, who spoke to a select-group of journos at Aero India Media Centre, confirmed that the ASTE has identified 2 pilots to fly the Tejas as part of the IAF’s user-evaluation. The squadron will be first raised in Bangalore, before moving to Sulur in Coimbatore.
Air Cmdr Krishna said that a lot of inputs from his boys have gone into the Tejas program (cockpit design, improvements), considering some of the Tejas test pilots at NFTC are already from ASTE. The LSP-7 & 8 platforms will be released to IAF for user-evaluation (the much-awaited) following the initial operations clearance (IOC-1 as termed by IAF). The AoA@22 is a critical phase for Tejas program now.
ASTE hopes to get the LSP-7 & 8 platforms in the next 3-4 months, following which the ADA-HAL team would have to really step on the gas to make the changes (as suggested by the IAF pilots) and get going with the final operational clearances (FOC) and series production.
The 2 pilots from ASTE will also undergo Tejas simulator flying at ADE and work closely with the current team (IAF-PMT, ADA, HAL, NFTC, CEMILAC & ADE). “The preparations for the squadron formation (including ground equipment) are on as planned,” Air Cmdr Krishna added.
Sources confirm to Tarmak007 that Wg Cdr Paranjal Singh (a Test pilot with ASTE) and Wg Cdr Manish Kumar (a Flight Test Engineer with ASTE) are the chosen ones from IAF (outside NFTC) to fly LSP-7 and LSP-8. "Manish has to fly the trainer since he is an engineer and until then he will be involved in ground-test duties. Paranjal has already flown an LCA and we are ensuring their transformation to the new platform is smooth," sources said.

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