Rajnath Singh has a 'thrilling' experience after co-piloting indigenously-built Tejas fighter jet

He was accompanied by Air Vice Marshal N Tiwari, who is also the Project Director, National Flight Test Centre, Aeronautical Development Agency in Bengaluru.

Published: 19th September 2019 10:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th September 2019 08:23 AM   |  A+A-


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday flew in the Tejas fighter aircraft (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: "I was very thrilled." These words sum up Union Defence Rajnath Singh's Tejas experience on Thursday. 

Reposing his faith in India's indigenously-built light combat aircraft (LCA) Mk 1, Singh sortied for 25 minutes alongside Air Vice Marshal N Tiwari and also became the first defence minister in the country to fly in Tejas. 

IN PICS | Jet, Set, Fly: Sporting G Suit and aviator shades, Rajnath Singh co-pilots Tejas LCA

The defence minister of Singapore is said to have flown a similar configuration of the LCA earlier.

 (Photo | Twitter @DefenceMinIndia)

"To sum up the entire experience, I was very thrilled, " said the minister who also given the opportunity to control the aircraft for a few minutes.

"I chose Tejas because of my curiosity. It is an indigenous project and I wanted to experience in what conditions our air force flies these fighter planes.

The pilot flew the envelope to 2.5 G (against gravity). "We were showing him the avionics, sophistication onboard and the laser designation pod where you can pick up targets from a distance of 25 km, said Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of  Defence R&D.

"We went close to Mach 1, the speed of sound," said N Tiwari, the lead pilot. 

"I did as I was told by Tiwari," Singh, wearing a G Suite, holding his helmet under his arms and sporting aviator glasses, said about his co-piloting experience at a 13,000 km altitude. 

As a shot in the arm for HAL, 83 LCAs that are being ordered by the defence ministry have reached the final stage of price negotiations, Singh confirmed.

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