Whether the Indian Air Force (IAF) is keen to go ahead with the home-grown Tejas program beyond the first and second blocks of 20 each or not, the SP-12 series production variant from the hangars of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) took to the skies today sans any fanfare.

The Flying Daggers are growing in strength day by day as new Tejas fighters are being added to the squadron at regular intervals for the past few months, HAL has spruced up its production schedule and is fast approaching to deliver the requisite fighters to the Indian Air Force.

Tejas Facebook page reported that the SP-12 (LA-5012) completed its maiden flight after taking off from HAL Airport in Bangalore, as in the earlier series, the fighter was piloted by Group Capt KK Venugopal (Retd). SP-12 flew for 34 mins and landed back safely.

On the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) front, sources at Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) say that the program will complete all tasks mandated as per schedule.

Our Bureau