Manohar Parrikar
Manohar ParrikarReuters

Trials for introducing air-conditioned jackets for the Indian Special Forces soldiers are on, former Defence Minister and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has said. "In a Special Forces operation, there is extensive exercise. Body heats up, he (soldier) is very uncomfortable. At that time if he has an air conditioned jacket, he is more comfortable. Trial is on," Parrikar told students here late on Saturday. Talking about the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, he said the only weak-point of the LCA Tejas was that it was a light plane and could carry a payload of only 3.5 ton.

He said there were other capabilities at which the Tejas fared better than many of the best planes in the world. Parrikar, who served as the Defence Minister between 2014 and 2017, returned to state politics earlier this year to be appointed the Chief Minister of Goa for the fourth time.

He said that he had diligently pursued the LCA project. "It was completed some 5-6 years (ago) but the government was not inducting it. Minor issues were there. I consecutively conducted 18 meetings and saw to it that it is inducted in the Air Force... Now there are three planes and one new aircraft is getting added up every one or two months," Parrikar replied to a question regarding Indian capabilities at manufacturing world class war equipments.

"It is indigenously designed and I can tell you the plane has many features that are better than many of the world-renowned planes. Its only defect is that it is light-weight. It can carry only a 3.5 ton bomb... It is the only weak-point. Otherwise the capacity of the plane, its reaction is better than many quality planes," Parrikar said.