Chennai, May 25 (IANS) The No. 18 Squadraon ‘Flying Bullets’ of the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be operationalised by Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria on May 27 at Sulur near Coimbatore.
According to a defence press release, the squadron will be equipped with indigenous light combat aircraft Tejas. It will be the second IAF squadron to fly LCA Tejas.
The 18 Squadron was formed on April 15, 1965 with the motto ‘Teevra aur Nirbhaya’ meaning ‘Swift and Fearless’.
The squadron was flying MiG-27 aircraft before it got number plated on April15, 2016. The squadron was resurrected on April 1 this year at Sulur, the statement said.
The squadron actively participated in the 1971 War with Pakistan and was decorated with the highest gallantry award ‘Param Vir Chakra’ awarded to Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon posthumously.
It earned the sobriquet of ‘Defenders of Kashmir Valley’ by being the first to land and operate from Srinagar. The squadron was presented with President’s Standard in November 2015.
Tejas is an indigenous fourth-generation tailless compound delta wing aircraft.
The aircraft is equipped with fly-by-wire flight control system, integrated digital avionics, multimode radar and its structure is made out of composite material.
It is the lightest and smallest in its group of supersonic combat aircraft.