Bengaluru: For Air Vice Marshal Narmdeshwar Tiwari, flying defence minister Rajnath Singh was, without doubt, a unique honour, but the ace pilot made the most of this opportunity to simulate an air-to-ground strike, and keep the minister informed about missiles, avionics and advanced systems developed and mounted on ‘Tejas’ combat jet during their 30 minute sortie on Thursday.
As he flew the minister over skies of Bengaluru, and some towns in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, he told the minister the laser designator pod, which helps missiles home in on ground targets located more 25 km away. “I demonstrated to him how we can use these pods to destroy targets-whether it is a building or a even people-from a distance. I focused on explaining about many advanced systems onboard this aircraft rather than attempt high speed or high G (gravity) pulls or rolls during the sortie. And, as we headed home, the runway was not visible from a distance, so I showed the minister how good our systems are that the fighter can land in the middle of the runway in spite of low visibility (overcast skies in Bangaluru),” he told Deccan Chronicle.
He said ‘Tejas’ was comparable to any aircraft of its class, but had the advantage of being light weight fighter jet. The wing was designed to give the combat jet agility during supersonic speeds and better control as well. The time taken for design and development of ‘Tejas’ was almost on par with that of similar projects in other countries.
“I am sure it will be a major boost to the IAF as the next squadron will have more advance version of ‘Tejas’,” he added.
Air Vice Marshal Tiwari, who was commissioned in 1986, is Project Director, National Flight Test Centre, ADA....