Friday, July 01, 2016
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IAF inducts first squadron of home-grown TejasThe home-grown light combat aircraft Tejas stationed at a hangar in Bengaluru on Friday. ANI

IAF inducts first squadron of home-grown Tejas

Defence Minister Parrikar lauds HAL, ADA01 Jul 2016 | 2:21 PM

BENGALURU: In a major milestone in the military aviation in the country, the first squadron of home-grown Light Combat Aircraft Tejas was inducted into the India Air Force with two fighter planes joining the force here. The squadron will be based in Bengaluru for the first two years before it is moved to Sulur in Tamil Nadu.

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Bengaluru, July 1

In a major milestone in the military aviation in the country, the first squadron of home-grown Light Combat Aircraft Tejas was inducted into the India Air Force (IAF) with two fighter planes joining the force here.

State-run HAL handed over the first two Tejas aircraft to the IAF, which makes up the first squadron named ‘Flying Daggers’, at a ceremony preceded by inter-faith prayers at the Aircraft System Testing Establishment.

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A Tejas aircraft flown by Commanding Officer Group Captain Madhav Rangachari performed a sortie during the induction ceremony, attended by Air Marshal Jasbir Walia, Air Officer Commanding-in Chief, Southern Air Command and senior HAL executives.

The commissioning of the India-made fighter planes comes more than three decades after LCA went into development.

The aircraft was named “Tejas” (meaning radiance in Sanskrit) by Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister.

The squadron will be based in Bengaluru for the first two years before it is moved to Sulur in Tamil Nadu.

Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, who on May 17 took his maiden flight in the Tejas, had given the thumbs up to the “desi” aircraft, terming it “good” for induction.

The IAF, which plans to induct six aircraft this financial year and about eight in the next, has said the Tejas will feature in its combat plan next year and would be deployed in forward bases also.

The LCA will eventually replace the ageing fleet of MiG-21 planes.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had earlier this month said here “next year I think two MiG-21 squadrons are being decommissioned. This will go into initially replacing them.” “LCAs are better than MiGs which are old and parts are difficult to get,” he had said.

All squadrons of the Tejas will be made up of 20 planes, including four in reserve.

As per the plan, 20 would be inducted under the “Initial Operational Clearance” and another 20 later with Beyond Visual Range Missile (BVR) and certain other features.

The IAF plans to induct over 80 aircraft with better specifications known as Tejas 1A.

The upgraded version of the Tejas, with active electrically scanned array radar, unified electronic warfare suite, mid-air refuelling capacity and advanced BVRs, will cost between Rs 275 crore and Rs 300 crore.

The idea to have an indigenous fighter aircraft was conceptualised in the 1970s, but actual work started on the aircraft project only in the 1980s.

The first flight took place in January 2001 after the project often ran into rough weather and came in for criticism over delay.

Parrikar lauds HAL, ADA

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar congratulated the state-run HAL and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) on the induction of the Tejas into the IAF and said the planes would be a force multiplier.

“Moment of National pride. Indigenously developed Tejas fighter jet inducted into Air Force. Tejas will take our air strength to new heights,” Parrikar tweeted.

He said, “Congratulations to HAL and ADA for successful induction.” — PTI

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear on Monday the plea of the AAP government in Delhi seeking a direction that the high court be restrained from delivering its judgment on issues including the scope of powers of the city government to exercise its authority in performing public functions.

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NEW DELHI:Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) price was on Friday hiked by 5.5 per cent for the fifth month in a row, but that of non-subsidised cooking gas (LPG) was cut by Rs 11 per cylinder, in line with global trends.

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VISAKHAPATNAM: Suspected terrorists have kidnapped two Indian nationals from Gboko, a town in the Benue state of north-central Nigeria, family members of one of them here said on Thursday.

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DHAKA: A Hindu priest was hacked to death on Friday in Bangladesh by unidentified machete-wielding assailants, the latest murder in the Muslim-majority nation which has seen a string of brutal attacks on minorities and secular activists by Islamists.

No report, Dhingra gets six weeks more

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01 Jul 2016 | 2:35 PM

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CHANDIGARH:The seriousness attached by the Punjab Government to the one-man Justice Zora Singh Commission of Inquiry — constituted to inquire into the cases of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib last year — could be gauged from the treatment meted out to the author of the report at the Civil Secretariat today evening.

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01 Jul 2016 | 1:50 AM

TANDA (HOSHIARPUR): Pointing out that three youths appearing for police recruitment in neighbouring Haryana had died of drug overuse, Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal today asked why Punjab alone was being portrayed as a land of addicts.

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Punjab to get ‘regular’ Guv after reshuffle

01 Jul 2016 | 2:42 PM

NEW DELHI:Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been criticised for failing to appoint a regular full-time Governor of Punjab, is expected to take a decision on the issue soon after the expansion-cum-reshuffle of his Council of Ministers.

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01 Jul 2016 | 12:53 AM

SHIMLA: Transport Minister GS Bali today said the Board of Directors of the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) had decided to revoke the dismissal of 24 employees on humanitarian grounds as they had submitted affidavits saying they were forced to go on a strike on June 14.

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SRINAGAR: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today called for peace and development in Jammu and Kashmir, saying that the proxy war between India and Pakistan has led to abject poverty in the two neighbouring countries which have huge expenses on defence.

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01 Jul 2016 | 12:05 AM

DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand wildlife authorities is all set to begin the much-awaited tiger census in the state in October. Uttarakhand has the second-highest tiger population in the country after Karnataka.

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01 Jul 2016 | 11:52 AM

SAN FRANCISCO: A California jury on Friday ordered business software giant Oracle to pay Hewlett Packard Enterprise $3 billion dollars for backing off a promise to support data servers powered by Itanium chips. Oracle said it had acted properly in the situation and that it planned to appeal to a higher court.

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