Tejas Plane: Modi Becomes First Prime Minister To Fly LCA Tejas
India’s PM Narendra Modi has made history by becoming the first Prime Minister to fly in the indigenous light combat aircraft, the LCA Tejas.
This remarkable event occurred when Mr. Modi co-piloted a trainer version of this aircraft. PM Modi, known for his efforts in promoting indigenous technology, took a bold step in co-piloting the Tejas.
Tejas Aircraft’s Design & Purpose
The Tejas is not just any aircraft; it is a multi-role platform, meaning it can perform various tasks. Designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), it excels in air defense, maritime surveillance, and strike roles.
Tejas Squadrons In Indian Air Force
Our Indian Air Force currently operates two squadrons of this advanced aircraft. These are the No. 45 Squadron, known as the ‘Flying Daggers’, and No. 18 Squadron, called the ‘Flying Bullets’.
Looking towards the future, the LCA Mk-1A variant of the Tejas will feature enhanced avionics, an Active Electronically Steered Radar, an updated Electronic Warfare suite, and Beyond Visual Range missile capability.
Foreign Dignitaries Who Have Flown the Tejas
The Tejas has garnered international attention, with prominent figures like General David L Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, and Chief of Staff of the French Air Force, General André Lanata, experiencing its capabilities firsthand. This international interest speaks volumes about the aircraft’s quality and performance.
International Showcases of the Tejas
The Tejas have proudly represented India on the international stage. It has been showcased at various global events such as LIMA-2019 in Malaysia,
- the Dubai Air Show-2021,
- the Sri Lanka Air Force anniversary celebrations in 2021,
- the Singapore Air Show-2022,
and multiple Aero India Shows from 2017 to 2023. Each appearance has been a moment of pride for India, displaying our self-reliance and expertise in aerospace technology.
Expanding its horizons, the Tejas participated in its first exercise on foreign soil at Ex-Desert Flag in the United Arab Emirates in March 2023. This marks a significant milestone in demonstrating its capabilities on an international platform.