Defence Minister Rajnath Singh fly a Tejas Aircraft on Thursday became the first Defence Minister of India to operate a Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) in Bengaluru on Thursday. Covered in a G-suit, Singh took to the cockpit of the warrior jet with a pilot in the front seat.
“Flying on ‘Tejas’, an Indigenous Light Combat Aircraft from Bengaluru’s HAL Airport was a marvellous and exhilarating experience. Tejas is a multi-role plane with several critical capabilities. It is meant to increase India’s air defence skills,” Rajnath Singh tweeted after his fight.
Speaking to News channels, Air Marshal PK Barbora called the sortie a proud moment for India.
“Singh is the first Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister) to fly the LCA. National Flight Test Centre Director Air Vice Marshal N. Tiwari piloted the fourth-generation fighter trainer,
with Singh behind him in the tandem seater in the glass cockpit,” a Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) said IANS.
The fighter jet, a twin-seater pilot aircraft, took off from the airport of support public sector unit Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bengaluru for a 30-minute sortie at 9.58 a.m.
Rajnath Singh fly a Tejas Aircraft,A senior IAF officer and an area staff at the airport led Rajnath as he got the rear seat inside the cockpit after securing all safety gear were in place. Singh set out to the crowds at the Karnataka airport before the fighter jet used to the runway.
Shortly before opening the cockpit, Rajnath posted his images on Twitter. “All Set for the Day,” he tweeted. Wednesday, Singh left Bengaluru to share details jointly created HAL DRDO.
Singh’s maiden flight on the Tejas gets ahead of the Indian Air Force (IAF) putting an order for 83-jets with the HAL, the manufacturer of the 4-plus generation battle aircraft.
In the first week September, the pricing-related issue 83 jets, which had been killing fire for long, had been successfully fixed by the Department of Defence Production with the HAL.
The new batch of 83-jets will be in interest to the 40 aircraft have already ordered IAF.
The Tejas has been created by India’s premier defence research institute, the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).
On September 13, the marine version of Tejas LCA had reached a significant milestone with a triumphant “arrested landing” at the shore-based Test Facility of INS Hansa in Goa. The Indian Navy had hailed September 13 as a “golden letter day” in its history.