Defence Minister Rajnath Singh flew the homemade light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas that took off from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited airport .
“I choose the Tejas because it was indigenous. I’m thrilled to fly the LCA. I wanted to experience it. I’m proud of HAL, DRDO and I congratulate all engineers. We have the strength and capability and skill to makes these planes.
“Flying was smooth and comfortable, I was enjoying it. We can now export Tejas to other countries too. Im very thrilled, it was a very special experience in life for me,” the Defence Minister said.
He became the first-ever Defence Minister to fly in the fighter jet. Singh was accompanied by Air Vice Marshal N Tiwari.
The Defence Minister who donned a white helmet waved to onlookers after he took his seat in the back in the twin- seater version of the aircraft before it took off.
Ahead of the flight today, Singh tweeted two pictures of him dressed in a green flight suit. “All Set For The Day!” he posted.The Tejas is an Indian single-engine, delta wing, multirole light fighter designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
It came from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters. In 2003, the LCA was officially named “Tejas”.