Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, became the first defence minister to fly in Tejas — an indigenously-built light combat aircraft.
Singh thought his experience was “exhilarating”.
“It was very smooth and comfortable. I was enjoying it. I want to congratulate HAL, DRDO and several agencies concerned. We have reached a level where we can export fighter planes across the world,” Defence Minister said after his flight.
Mr. Rajnath Singh was accompanied by Air Vice Marshal N Tiwari, who is also the Project Director, National Flight Test Centre, ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) in Bengaluru.
The DRDO chief Dr G Satheesh Reddy said that the defence minister “controlled and flew the Tejas for some time”.
The ministry of defence announced on Wednesday that the minister would be “taking a sortie” in order to boost the morale of officers who have been involved in the development of “indigenously-made Tejas”. “It will also boost the morale of IAF pilots who are flying these aircraft,” an official said.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has already inducted a batch of Tejas aircraft.
The naval version of the LCA is in development stage.
Last week, Tejas had successfully carried out an “arrested landing”, a key performance demonstrating its ability to land on board an aircraft carrier, making it a major milestone in development of the naval variant of the fighter jet.
Initially, the IAF had placed an order with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for 40 Tejas aircraft. Last year, the IAF issued the request for proposal (RFP) to HAL for the procurement of another batch of 83 Tejas at a cost of over Rs 50,000 crore.
Below is the tweet of Mr. Singh after a joyride.
Flying on ‘Tejas’, an Indigenous Light Combat Aircraft from Bengaluru’s HAL Airport was an amazing and exhilarating experience.
Tejas is a multi-role fighter with several critical capabilities. It is meant to strengthen India’s air defence capabilities. pic.twitter.com/jT95afb0O7
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) September 19, 2019
Source : Various