Army Chief General Bipin Rawat Thursday took a sortie in indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas in Bengaluru at the Aero India 2019. Speaking to reporters at the Yelahanka airbase, Rawat said it was an “experience of a lifetime”, and added that it was a “wonderful aircraft”.
“Flight in LCA Tejas was an experience of a lifetime. It’s a wonderful aircraft; if it gets added to inventory it will add to air power,” he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
— ANI (@ANI) February 21, 2019
Tejas had been given final clearance for operations on Wednesday. The Final Operational Clearance (FOC) signals the aircraft is combat ready.
Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa called it a “major milestone” and said, “It is a fighter aeroplane and it has to behave like a fighter and it did well both in air to air and air to ground.”
“You saw how much the aircraft could fly, the number of sorties it could generate in exercise Gagan Shakti in April 2018 and in February this year. In exercise Vayu Shakti we showed you as to how accurately this aircraft could dispense weapons on the target. It can not only sustain a very high sortie rate, but can also carry on very accurate weapon delivery,” he had added, reported PTI.
The 12th edition of biennial airshow Aero India commenced on Wednesday. The Tejas had flown on the first day, along with an IAF Jaguar and a Sukhoi 30 Mki in a special formation as a tribute to a pilot who died during a trial run a day before.