Bengaluru, September 18
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh would be flying in indigenously-built light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas from the HAL airport in Bengaluru on Thursday, senior officials said.
He will be the first defence minister to fly in the aircraft.
A Defence Ministry official on Wednesday said the minister is “taking a sortie” in order to boost the morale of officers who have been involved in the development of “indigenously-made Tejas”.
“It will also boost the morale of IAF pilots who are flying these aircraft. The minister will be briefed by IAF officers before taking a sortie on Thursday,” he added.
The IAF has already inducted a batch of Tejas aircraft. The naval version of the LCA is in development stage.
Last Friday in Goa, Tejas had successfully carried out an “arrested landing”, a key performance demonstrating its ability to land on board an aircraft carrier, making it a major milestone in development of the naval variant of the fighter jet.
“The minister will fly a sortie in the twin-seater version of Tejas on Thursday. He will be flying from HAL airport in Bengaluru,” another official from the Defence Ministry said on Tuesday.
Singh would also be attending an exhibition of products of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Bengaluru on Thursday, he had said.
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 Rs 50,000 crore. — PTI
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