Three Tejas fighters, Five Advanced Light Helicopters Dhruvs of the Sarang Team, and 10 Hawk 132s of the Suryakiran team will be taking part in the Dubai Air Show.
Three Tejas fighters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) landed in the UAE earlier today to participate in the biennial Dubai Air Show scheduled to be held at the Al Maktoum Airport from 14 to 18 November.
The three Final Operational Clearance or FOC Tejas fighter jets belong to No. 18 Squadron ‘Flying Bullets’ of the IAF based at the Sulur Air Force Station in Tamil Nadu. Flying Bullets, the second squadron of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) in the IAF, was formed in May 2020.
The No. 18 Squadron, originally formed in April 1965, saw active combat during the 1971 war. Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon, the only Param Vir Chakra (highest military decoration) awardee from the IAF, belonged to the No. 18 Squadron of the IAF. The squadron was made operational at Sulur on 27 May last year with the induction of Tejas fighters.
The first LCA Tejas squadron, No 45 ‘Flying Daggers’, was operationalised with Initial Operating Capability standard fighters in July 2016.
In the past, Tejas fighters of the IAF have participated in the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (2019) in Malaysia and the Colombo Air Show (2021) in Sri Lanka.
Apart from Tejas fighters, five Advanced Light Helicopters Dhruvs of the Sarang Team and 10 BAE Hawk 132s of the Suryakiran Team will also be taking part in the Air Show. C-17 Globemaster IIIs and C-130J Super Hercules aircraft are also in the UAE for induction of the aircraft and members of the crew.
The IAF has been invited by the UAE government to perform along with some of the best aerobatics and display teams in the world, including the Saudi Hawks, Russian Knights, and the UAE’s Al Fursan, they said.
Five Dhruvs, the advanced light helicopters (ALH) of the Sarang Team, 10 BAE Hawk 132 aircraft of the Suryakiran Team, and three LCA Tejas aircraft were inducted at the Dubai Air Show on November 9, the official said.
The induction was supported by the IAF’s C-17 Globemaster IIIs and C-130J Super Hercules, they said.
On arrival, the IAF contingent was received with a warm welcome by Major General Staff Pilot Ishaq Saleh Mohammed al-Balushi of the UAE Armed Forces and other officers of the UAE Air Force, they noted.
The IAF teams are now preparing for the opening ceremony on November 14, they said.
While the Sarang Team has previously participated in the Al Ain Grand Prix in UAE in 2005, Suryakirans and the Tejas will be showing off their swashbuckling aerial maneuvers for the first time in the gulf nation, the official added.