Defence Minister Rajnath Singh flew on the made-in-India fighter jet Tejas today for 30 minutes. Thrilled by the experience, the minister said that he is proud of the scientists and organisations of the country who worked on developing the Tejas aircraft. "We have reached a position in which we can not only export fighter aircraft but also other defence equipment to other countries," the minister said after the sortie. Earlier in February, ace shuttler PV Sindhu and Army chief General Bipin Rawat flew in the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas during the Aero India 2019 air show in Bengaluru.
Know More About Tejas, the made-in-India fighter jet:
- The indigenously-developed Tejas Light Combat Aircraft has been manufactured at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.
- Tejas is a fully-weaponised light fighter with a single engine multi-role.
- Although a lightweight aircraft with a short range, Tejas aircraft can carry the same array of modern weapons that bigger warplanes carry, from precision guided and standoff weaponry to long-range 'beyond visual range' missiles that can take down enemy planes from a safe distance.
- A batch of the Tejas aircraft has already been inducted into the Indian Air Force. The naval variant of the Tejas, in development stage, successfully performed an "arrested landing" in Goa - a major step in the programme to make the jet ready for service with the Navy.
- The Indian Air Force has 40 Tejas Mk1 fighters on order and will acquire another 83 Tejas Mk-1A fighters.