The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria PVSM AVSM VM ADC will operationalise No. 18 Squadron ‘Flying Bullets’ of the Indian Air Force on 27th May 2020. This event will be conducted at Air Force Station, Sulur near Coimbatore. The Squadron will be equipped with LCA Tejas FOC Aircraft and will be the second IAF Squadron to fly LCA Tejas.
18 Squadron was formed on 15 Apr 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 Apr 2016. The Squadron was resurrected on 01 April this year at Sulur.
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 fourth generation supersonic combat aircraft.