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Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday, September 19, became the first defense minister to fly on board India’s indigenously-built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas in Bengaluru, Karnataka. 

After the 30-minute sortie, Singh said that it was “very smooth and comfortable.”

“I was enjoying. I want to congratulate HAL, DRDO and several concerned agencies. We have reached a level where we can export fighter planes across the world,” he added.

“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.

“I was thrilled. It was a special experience,” the Minister said.

Air Vice Marshal N Tiwari, who flew along with Singh said that the defense minister “was very happy with flying quality of the aircraft (LCA Tejas). We went close to Mach 1, the speed of sound”.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has already inducted a batch of Tejas aircraft. The naval version of the LCA is currently in the development stage.

Tejas, a single-engine, delta wing, multi-role light fighter was designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and is produced by the Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force.

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Recently 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 the development of the naval variant of the fighter jet.

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