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HomeExclusivePrime Minister Narendra Modi Takes Historic Tejas Flight, Boosting India's Aerospace Pride.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Takes Historic Tejas Flight, Boosting India’s Aerospace Pride.

On November 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi achieved a historic milestone by taking a sortie in the indigenous light combat aircraft Tejas, becoming the first Prime Minister to fly in a fighter aircraft. The 30-minute sortie, conducted from the Aircraft Systems Testing Establishment in Bengaluru, showcased the capabilities of the Tejas.

Attired in a G-suit, PM Modi flew aboard an aircraft piloted by Group Captain Debanjan Mandal. Following the exhilarating experience, Modi expressed his confidence in India’s indigenous capabilities, stating, A flight to remember! Tejas is India’s pride, a manifestation of the strength and skills of 140 crore Indians.

The Tejas, designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency and HAL, has been a vital part of the Indian Air Force for over seven years. Currently, the IAF operates two squadrons No 45 Squadron, the ‘Flying Daggers,’ and No 18 Squadron, the ‘Flying Bullets.’

With the IAF having ordered 83 LCA Mk-1A variants, featuring updated avionics and enhanced capabilities, Modi’s recent sortie is expected to provide momentum for the procurement of an additional 97 Tejas aircraft. The contracted deliveries for the new variant are set to commence in February 2024, contributing to a significant increase in indigenous content.

PM Modi’s Tejas flight follows the footsteps of other notable individuals, including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, badminton player PV Sindhu, and Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. Foreign dignitaries, such as General David L Goldfein and General André Lanata, have also flown in the Tejas, highlighting India’s aerospace prowess on the global stage.

The IAF has actively showcased the Tejas at international events, solidifying its position as a symbol of India’s aerospace capabilities. Modi’s historic sortie is expected to further elevate the Tejas’ status and potentially pave the way for increased procurement, emphasizing India’s commitment to indigenous aerospace excellence.

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