Defence

Rajnath Singh becomes the first defence minister to fly in LCA Tejas

Bengaluru: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday flew in the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas in Bengaluru thus becoming the first Defence Minister to fly in the fighter jet.

Singh was accompanied by Air Vice Marshal N Tiwari.

Before flying, Singh tweeted two images of him dressed in a green flight suit.

The Defence Minister waved at the onlookers who was donned a white helmet and took his back seat in the twin-seater version of the aircraft before it took off. The minister flew from the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) airport.

Earlier former defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman flew in a Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter of the IAF on January 17, 2008, from Jodhpur airbase in Rajasthan. She was also the first woman Raksha Mantri to fly in a fighter as a “co-pilot”.

The Tejas is an Indian single-engine, delta wing, multirole light fighter designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and HAL for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.

This comes from the LCA programme which began in the 1980s to replace India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters. And in 2003, the LCA was officially named “Tejas”.

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