Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat today took a ride on the LCA Tejas.
The ride came about at the Aero India air show being held on the outskirts of Bengaluru.
The Army Chief was sitting behind the pilot in a two-seater trainer variant of the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas.
This was the first time General Rawat flew in the home-made fighter jet, known for its agility, being the smallest and lightest multirole supersonic fighter jet in its class.
“I think it’s a wonderful aircraft. I would like to thank Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa for making this happen. We did some normal manoeuvres and the experience was great,” General Rawat told reporters after the 30-minute jet ride. “The LCA’s targeting systems are very good.”
PS Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the government, will also fly in the LCA Tejas later today.
It need be mentioned that the LCA Tejas is lightweight aircraft with a short range and can carry the same array of modern weapons that bigger warplanes carry from precision guided and standoff weaponry to long-range ‘beyond visual range’ missiles that can take down enemy planes from a safe distance.
Among the crowd of defence investors, government officials and military officers, thousands of civilians are also queuing up at the Aero India venue to watch spectacular flypast by powerful jets and aerial aerobatic shows. The five-day event ends on February 25.
The logo for Aero India 2019 – a triangle in the colours of the national flag – is inspired by the LCA Tejas, the organisers said on their official website.