Rajnath flies Tejas

India is on the threshold of emerging more zestful and spirited in securing its place in the comity of nations as an emerging power with emphasis, among other things, on reaping the fruits of ‘Make in India’ by using sensitive and technically sophisticated indigenously made machines , be they spacecraft or fighter aircraft or a modern battle tank and the like. We have heard about the Tejas, a multi role fighter aircraft, but not to mention about its special critical capabilities to meet the requirements of the IAF to strengthen India’s air defence capabilities would be inappropriate especially when it is ranked as the best in its class and technology , with excellent onboard systems and avionics which puts it in the front and ahead of contemporary aircraft of its kind in the world. Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh achieved the ‘feat’ of becoming the first Defence Minister to fly in this indigenously built light combat aircraft. It is definitely a moment of joy for all of us.
If the aircraft would have been an imported one or assembled in India with most of the parts imported from other countries , the pleasure would have not been as much as in flying in an indigenously built fighter air machine which the Defence Minister must have specially felt when on board of this fighter aircraft. In fact, just like a bit of cuisine prepared with lot of skill and hard work , when given to someone to see and explain how that tasted like, in the same way, the Defence Minister found the flying sortie in the Tejas quite ‘smooth and comfortable’ . When this aircraft in full battle combat would be sent for accomplishing an assignment as and when the need would arise, the experience of flying by our brave heart airmen would be entirely different which would be narrated by them on their safe return to bases from where they flew for the job.
A thrilling experience and at once giving a feel of being away from the busy official matters for some brief but memorable time with intent to look like a fit and smart proud Indian airman , Rajnath Singh wore a G suit , aviator glasses and held his helmet under his arms like a professional fighter pilot. Earlier this year , former Defence Minister and present Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman flew a sortie on a Sukhoi – 30 MKI fighter from an air base in Jodhpur . She also recorded her ‘feat’ as being the first woman Union Defence Minister to fly in a fighter aircraft .
These, however, are not any gestures but acts of being one with the defence personnel and to encourage, congratulate and further up their high morale. Without mincing words, it could be said that these are the acts of courage too as flying in fighter aircraft is not an ordinary experience but demonstrative of one possessing of the requisite grit, courage and strong will. Rajnath Singh , amusingly but notably was in command of the fighter aircraft for two minutes which made his flying memorable , but duly following “orders”.
The other part of the story is as to how India could market the utility and the speciality of this fighter aircraft for commercial needs . It is learnt that many countries have already shown their interest in acquiring these fighter aircraft especially the South East Asian countries. For making Tejas of such levels so as to be fit for exporting to other countries, the Defence Minister rightly congratulated Hindustan Aeronautics Limited , Defence Research and Development Organisation and several agencies. It is worth noting that a week earlier , Tejas had successfully carried out ‘ arrested landing’ in Goa by landing on board an aircraft carrier which could be termed as its key performance and capability of demonstrating its efficiency to do it. Tejas is a long step towards stress on more indigenousness and self reliability in Defence sector coupled with commercial gains through exports.