NEW DELHI: In a significant achievement for the indigenous fighter aircraft programme, the Indian Air Force (IAF) deployed the home-grown Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas on the western front along the Pakistan border in view of the tensions with China on the Ladakh front.
“The LCA Tejas was deployed by the Indian Air Force 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 first LCA Tejas squadron, 45 Squadron (Flying Daggers) based out of Sulur under the Southern Air Command, was deployed in an operational role there, the sources said.
The indigenous Tejas aircraft had been praised by Prime Minister 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 operationalized by the IAF chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria at the Sulur airbase on May 27.
The Indian Air Force and the Defence Ministry are expected to finalise the deal for the 83 Mark1A 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.
Indian Navy has effectively carried out Mission Based deployment to protect maritime interests by deploying naval ships and aircraft at major and sensitive locations, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday.
Singh, who attended the Naval Commanders’ Conference today, said that “these deployments have helped increase Maritime Domain Awareness, provided rapid humanitarian aid and relief.” “Attended the Naval Commanders’ Conference today. I applaud the Indian Navy for their role in protecting the maritime interests of the nation,” the Defence Minister tweeted.
He also expressed confidence in the “Navy’s preparedness to meet any challenge through a proactive response in deploying its ships and aircraft.”
The Defence Minister congratulated the Indian Navy on the conduct of ‘Operation Samudra Setu’ which he said has contributed extensively to national interest. Rajnath Singh had on Thursday launched the Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO) through an online webinar.
The Naval Commanders’ Conference assumes significance in the wake of border tensions with China. The meeting is happening at a time when the Chinese have taken a rigid stand on the border issue and are showing reluctance to disengage from the Finger area, Depsang and Gogra in Eastern Ladakh sector.
A release informed that Defence Minister, while addressing the Commanders on the inaugural day of the Naval Commanders’ Conference, complimented the men and women of Indian Navy for their role in protecting the maritime interests of the nation and expressed the confidence in the Indian Navy’s preparedness to meet any challenge through a proactive response in deploying its ships and aircraft.
As per the release, the Defence Minister also highlighted the creation of the post of CDS and Department of Military Affairs (DMA) as “major milestones in bringing more synergy amongst the three services, especially in training, procurement and staffing and bringing jointness in operations.”
Defence Minister said accepting the challenges arising out of the Covid-19 situation in the current financial year Indian Navy has continued to progress the operational, administrative and modernization efforts, the release informed. “Notwithstanding these fiscal challenges, the government has invoked the Emergency Powers to meet the emergent requirements of the services, he added.”
Rajnath Singh was received by Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff and was briefed on the innovations carried out by Indian Navy in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic which included various equipment developed, designed by the Navy, being effectively utilised by various agencies. (ANI)