Rajnath Singh became the defence minister to fly light combat aircraft Tejas. He took off from the Bengaluru airbase on Thursday morning. on Thursday. A Defence Ministry official 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". Ahead of the planned sortie, Singh took to Twitter and posted a message along with photos of him ready in special G-suit. “All Set For The Day!,” Singh said on micro-blogging site. Here’s all you must know about Tejas, the lightest combat aircraft in the world.
1: The LCA was named ‘Tejas’ by Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister. The name means radiance in Sanskrit.
2: Tejas is being developed in single-seat fighter and twin-seat trainer variants for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.
3: Rajnath Singh’s Thursday sortie was done in the twin-seat trainer variant of Tejas.
4: Its structure is composed of 42% carbon fibre composites, 43% aluminium alloy and the remainder titanium alloy.
5: The aircraft is equipped to handle air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, anti-ship missiles, bombs and rockets.
6: The light combat aircraft made its first flight on January 4th, 2001.
7: It all started in 1984, when the Government of India moved towards the process to build an indigenous aircraft. The first step in the process was setting up of Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA).
8: In 1986, Rs 575 crores were allocated by the then government towards funding the programme.
9: Initially, the IAF had placed an order with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for 40 Tejas aircraft.
10: 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.
Recently, Tejas had successfully performed ‘arrested landing’ in Goa. The testing is set to expedite the delayed induction of Tejas in the Navy. The ability of an aircraft to come to a halt in a very short distance is required for operations on board an aircraft carrier, news agency ANI reported. As Tejas performs the "arrested landing", India enters an elite list of nations like US, Russia, the UK, France and China which have achieved this feat.