Rajnath makes history, becomes 1st defence minister to fly Tejas fighter

Rajnath Singh made history on Thursday morning when he became the first defence minister to fly on the indigenously built Light Combat Aircraft Tejas from the HAL Airport in Bengaluru.

Strapped in a g-suit, Rajnath was escorted by Air Vice M N. Tiwari, who is project director of the National Flight Test Centre. Tiwari flew the sortie.

A ministry of defence official told PTI on Thursday Rajnath was flying on the Tejas to boost the morale of Indian Air Force officers who have been involved in the development of the fighter, which had made its maiden flight in 2001.

The flight by Rajnath comes less than a week after another landmark achievement by the Tejas. The naval variant of the Tejas had made its first arrested landing in Goa on September 13, marking a major step into its preparation for aircraft carrier operations.

The Indian Air Force has inducted 16 Tejas fighters in an initial configuration and is expected to sign a contract for 83 units in an improved Tejas MK1A configuration that will have updated electronics and weapons-carriage capability. The DRDO announced development of a Mk2 variant of the Tejas that would feature design modifications and a new engine to improve range and weapons load





Source:- The Week

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