Monday, Oct 03, 2022 | Last Update : 07:24 PM IST

  India   All India  29 Nov 2017  Singapore minister has a ride on Tejas, calls LCA ‘excellent’

Singapore minister has a ride on Tejas, calls LCA ‘excellent’

THE ASIAN AGE. | RAJIB CHOWDHURI
Published : Nov 29, 2017, 2:06 am IST
Updated : Nov 29, 2017, 6:36 am IST

Three Tejas aircrafts (trainer version) stole the show by performing aerial displays.

Singapore defence minister Ng Eng Hen shakes hands after a sortie in the trainer version of the Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) at the Kalaikunda IAF base in West Bengal on Tuesday. Air Vice Marshal A.P. Singh was the pilot who flew the visiting dignitary in the LCA. (Photo: PTI)
 Singapore defence minister Ng Eng Hen shakes hands after a sortie in the trainer version of the Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) at the Kalaikunda IAF base in West Bengal on Tuesday. Air Vice Marshal A.P. Singh was the pilot who flew the visiting dignitary in the LCA. (Photo: PTI)

West Midnapore (West Bengal): Singapore defence minister Ng Eng Hen has described Tejas, India’s first indigenously-built light combat aircraft (LCA), as ‘excellent and impressive’ after flying it as a first-ever civilian foreigner.

 According to him, Tejas is also a “very capable aircraft”. Sharing his flying experience of around 45 minutes, at a height of 20,000 ft above the Kalaikunda Air Force station, in West Midnapore of West Bengal, he showered lavish praise on Indian Air Force (IAF) — Air-vice Marshal A.P. Singh, project director at the National Flight Test Centre of the Aeronautical Development Agency.

 He arrived in New Delhi on Monday to hold the second Singapore-India defence ministers’ dialogue with Indian defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The meeting between the two has been scheduled today.

 Accompanied by senior officials, Dr Hen on Tuesday, visited the Kalaikunda airbase where a contingent of Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) with fighter aircrafts including F-16s is taking part in the routine annual joint military training with the Indian Air Force.

 He also interacted with the members of the contingent.

Air Officer Commanding in Chief (Eastern Air Command) Air Marshal Anil Khosla was present there.

 Three Tejas aircrafts (trainer version) stole the show by performing aerial displays.

Mr Hen said, “It was an excellent and impressive experience. That is the reason why our air force gets trained by the IAF. The pilots are superb. The aircrafts are pretty good. We earn measurable value in the training with the IAF.”

He also tweeted: “Privileged to be flown on the #Tejas, India’s own designed and manufactured fighter aircraft. A very good plane. #fighteraircraft @IAF_MCC.”

Asked if Singapore eyes to buy Tejas, Mr Hen did not rule out the possibilit.

However, he said, “Our bilateral ties is very strong. It is going stronger. I am scheduled for the dialogue with Ms Sitharaman. Tejas is a very capable aircraft. I am not a pilot who can speak about it. Honestly speaking the flying experience was liking riding in a car.”

A senior official of Defence Research and Development Organisation indicated on anonymity that the three Tejas aircrafts were flown into the training excercise allow Mr Hen to have a first-hand experience as Singapore has shown signs of a potential buyer among some other nations recently.

Tags: tejas, nirmala sitharaman, light combat aircraft (lca), tejas aircrafts, ng eng hen