Bengaluru: Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singh has scripted history by becoming the first “Raksha Mantri” (Defence Minister) to fly the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) ‘Tejas’.
Singh undertook a 30-minute sortie 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.
The defence Minister described his experience of flying the fourth-generation aircraft as ’thrilling and special’. Congratulating HAL, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for building the multi-role fighter aircraft, Singh said demand has been received for ‘Tejas’ from different countries. He expressed pride that India has reached a stage where fighter aircraft and arms & ammunition can be exported to the world.
Singh also praised the Indian Air Force as well as Army & Navy for their professionalism, courage and bravery. “I am proud of the soldiers of our Armed Forces”, he said.
Air Vice Marshal Narmdeshwar Tiwari said Raksha Mantri 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, the Defence Minister 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.