Wearing a G-suit this morning Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh readied himself to fly in the homemade light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas in Bengaluru. He will be the first defence minister to fly in this aircraft. “All set for the day,” Singh tweeted, sharing two photos.
68-year-old Singh flew a sortie in the twin-seater version of Tejas from the HAL airport in the city after a briefing by Indian Air Force pilots.
All Set For The Day! pic.twitter.com/JUUdzafutq
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) September 19, 2019
Tejas became the first aircraft in India to successfully perform an arrested landing in Goa last Friday, in what is being called as a major step in the programme to make the jet ready for service with the Navy.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has already inducted a batch of Tejas aircraft. The naval version of the LCA is in development stage. Singh will also attend an exhibition of products of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Bengaluru.
Initially, the IAF had placed an order with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for 40 Tejas aircraft. Last year, the IAF issued the request for proposal (RFP) to HAL for the procurement of another batch of 83 Tejas at a cost of over Rs50,000 crore.
Former defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s previous government, became the second Indian woman leader to go on a sortie on a Sukhoi-30 fighter jet in January this year. The supersonic jet took off for the 45-minute ride from the Jodhpur Air Force station.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will also travel to Paris next month to receive the first of 36 Rafale fighter jets.