The United States Air Force Chief of Staff General David L Goldfein on Saturday flew Tejas — India's indigenous light combat aircraft. He took flight from the Rajasthan's Jodhpur Air Force station.
The US Air Force chief arrived in India on Friday. During the Tejas flight, Indian Air Force (IAF) Air Vice Marshal AP Singh accompanied him as co-pilot, PTI reported.
In a welcome gesture, the IAF Twitter handle said, "General David L Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, is on an official visit to India. He flew a sortie in '#MadeinIndia' LCA Tejas aircraft at AF Stn Jodhpur today."
Goldfein hailed the passion and enthusiasm of the pilots posted at the Jodhpur Air Force base.
"There is already a strong relationship between our two air forces and I'm looking forward to making it stronger," he said on Facebook and Twitter, as he looked forward to enhancing India-US air force relations.
He further described Tejas as a powerful and the best combat aircraft. Also, Goldfein is the first foreign air force chief to fly Tejas, the report stated.
Earlier, in November 2017, Singapore Defence Minister flew the fighter aircraft Tejas from the Kalaikunda Airbus in West Bengal.
Made in India
The combat aircraft Tejas has been developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bengaluru.
The aircraft weighs 5,680kg and around 13.2 metres in length. It was first incorporated into IAF's Flying Daggers 45 Squadron in July 2016.
In a bid to manufacture Light Combat Aircrafts (LCA), the Tejas was proposed in 1970's to replace the MiG-21 fleet. The combat aircraft can fly up to 50,000 feet in altitude and reach a speed of over 2,000 km per hour. Tejas has been equipped with advance robust weaponry system with which it can attack the laser-guided bombs.