Chennai: Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria will operationalise the No 18 Squadron ‘Flying Bullets’ of the Indian Air Force on 27 May with the induction of supersonic LCA Tejas aircraft. The event will be held at Air Force Station, Sulur near Coimbatore.
The Squadron will be equipped with LCA Tejas aircraft and will be the second IAF Squadron to fly LCA Tejas, a defence release said here today.
The ’18 Squadron’ was formed on 15 April, 1965 with the motto ‘Teevra aur Nirbhaya’ meaning ‘Swift and Fearless’.
The Squadron was flying MIG 27 aircraft before it got number plated on 15 April, 2016. The Squadron was resurrected on April one this year at Sulur.
The Squadron actively participated in the 1971 war with Pakistan. It was decorated with the highest gallantry award ‘Param Vir Chakra’ which was 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 was an indigenous fourth generation tailless compound delta wing aircraft, which was equipped with fly-by-wire flight control system, integrated digital avionics, multimode radar and its structure was made out of composite material.
It is the lightest and smallest in its group of fourth generation supersonic combat aircraft.