Rajnath Singh “Thrilled” After Tejas Sortie, “Controlled It” Briefly……

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       Wearing a G-suit, Rajnath Singh buckled himself into the light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas in Bengaluru this morning, becoming the first Defence Minister to fly in the made-in-India fighter jet. The aircraft took off from the HAL airport in Bengaluru. Mr Singh, 68, walked up to the aircraft along with the pilot, Air Vice Marshal N Tiwari, climbed up the steps and strapped himself in the backseat, behind the pilot. Wearing a white helmet and an oxygen mask, the Defence Minister was seen waving before the twin-seater version of Tejas took off for a 30-minute sortie. He was briefed by the pilot and other top Indian Air Force (IAF) officials. “I was thrilled. It was a very smooth and comfortable flight. I was enjoying the flight. I am proud of the scientists of the country as well as the organisations who have worked on developing the Tejas aircraft. Today, there is a demand for Tejas in several other countries. We have reached a position in which we can not only export fighter aircraft but also other defence equipment to other countries,” Mr Singh said after the sortie.When asked why he chose to fly in the Tejas aircraft , the Defence Minister said, “It is indigenously developed”. The Defence Minister “controlled the aircraft for sometime”, said Dr G Sathish Reddy, chief of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) which has designed the Tejas jet. After getting off the jet, Mr Singh put on a pair of aviator glasses, held his helmet under his arms and posed for photographs with the pilot, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and others.