Visakhapatnam : Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has scripted history by becoming the first Defence Minister to fly the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) ‘Tejas’. Rajnath Singh undertook 30-minute sortie in the indigenously-built multi-role fighter aircraft with Air Vice-Marshall Narmdeshwar Tiwari, at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Airport in Bengaluru on Thursday.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh described his experience of flying the fourth-generation aircraft as ’thrilling and unique’. Congratulating HAL, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for building the multi-role fighter aircraft, Shri Rajnath Singh said demand had 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.
The minister 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 Marshall 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 happy with the quality and smoothness of the aircraft”.
Earlier, Rajnath 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; Shri R. Madhavan, CMD, HAL and other senior officials of DRDO and HAL were present on occasion.
Tejas is a multi-role fighter with several critical capabilities. It is meant to strengthen India’s air defence capabilities. EOM