BENGALURU: "I was thrilled to fly Tejas, the indigenous fighter jet and pride of Bengaluru," Bengaluru South MP and BJP leader Tejasvi Surya said on Thursday after flying the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) on the second day of the three-day Aero India 2021.
With Surya on board as a co-pilot, the LCA took off from Air Force Station Yelahanka and during a 30-minute sortie, the young MP took control of the fighter jet for around five to six minutes. “We pulled up to 5G. It was a nice and thrilling experience,” said Surya, who used to regularly come to air shows. “Sometimes, we even watched the flying display from outside the air force station as it was difficult to get tickets,” said the MP.
After the sortie, the MP said the order for the aircraft shows the Narendra Modi government's belief in the scientific calibre of Indian engineers and the Rs 48,000 crore order will see more than 600 firms or MSMEs come together for the making of an aircraft.
"With Tier 2 and Tier 3 supplier bases predominantly happening from Bangalore, the Tejas order will improve the industrial base in our city to greater heights and create employment. We are grateful to PM Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the late former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for their support in getting Tejas up in the air. We must also actively pursue export markets and make Tejas a world class brand," the MP said.
The Cabinet Committee on Security cleared the Rs 48,000 crore deal to HAL for 83 LCA aircraft on January 13 and the contract was formally handed over to HAL Chairman and Managing Director R Madhavan by Director General (Acquisition) of the Minister of Defence, VL Kantha Rao, on Wednesday during the Aero India. "The induction of LCA Tejas will not only boost Atmanirbharta, but also help India become a larger global exporter in defence," Surya added.