On Thursday, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh flew on the Air Force version of Tejas – the first Defence Minister of India to fly in a domestically-built aircraft. The minister flew a sortie in the twin-seater version of Tejas from state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s airport, in the southern city of Bengaluru.
#WATCH Defence Minister Rajnath Singh finishes 30-minute sortie in Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, in Bengaluru. He is the first ever Defence Minister to fly in the indigenous LCA Tejas. pic.twitter.com/VkYnv9cikd— ANI (@ANI) September 19, 2019
A delighted minister had tweeted that it “was an amazing and exhilarating experience”.
Flying on ‘Tejas’, an Indigenous Light Combat Aircraft from Bengaluru’s HAL Airport was an amazing and exhilarating experience.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) September 19, 2019
Tejas is a multi-role fighter with several critical capabilities. It is meant to strengthen India’s air defence capabilities. pic.twitter.com/jT95afb0O7
India’s LCA together with its variants, is the smallest and lightest multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft of its class. This single engine, compound-Delta-Wing, Tailless aircraft is designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), under the Defence Research and Development Organisation. ADA with HAL as the principal partner along with several other scientific institutions have been mandated to meet the diverse needs of the Indian Air Force and Navy.
Tejas has already achieved several operational milestones like mid-air refuelling, missile launch capability, etc.
The naval version of Tejas, once considered a dead project after the Indian Navy rejected it in 2016 is now closer to the goal of operating from an aircraft carrier.
Earlier this month, the HAL-made light utility helicopter successfully completed high altitude capability in hot and high weather conditions in the Himalayas.