New Delhi: It was “thrilling and special” what Defence Minister Rajnath Singh who scripted history September 19 by becoming the first Defence Minister to fly the fourth-generation indigenously built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) ‘Tejas’ described his 30-minute sortie.
Singh flew in the indigenously-built multi-role fighter aircraft with Air Vice Marshal Narmdeshwar Tiwari at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Airport in Bengaluru this morning.
Congratulating HAL, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for building the multi-role fighter aircraft, the Minister said demand has been received for ‘Tejas’ from different countries. He expressed pride that India has reached a stage where fighter aircraft and arms and ammunition can be exported to the world.
Singh praised the Indian Air Force as well as Army and Navy for their professionalism, courage and bravery. “I am proud of the soldiers of our Armed Forces”, he said.
Air Vice Marshal Tiwari said the Minister even controlled ‘Tejas’ in the air for some time and was shown the Avionics and Sophisticated Systems onboard the aircraft. He said “Rajnath Singh was very happy with the quality and smoothness of the aircraft”.
Earlier, Singh was briefed about the functioning of the ‘Tejas’ by senior officials of Air Force.
Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO; R Madhavan, CMD, HAL and other senior officials of DRDO and HAL were present on the occasion.
Tejas is a multi-role fighter with several critical capabilities. It is meant to strengthen India’s air defence capabilities.