Tejas is India's indigenously built light combat aircraft. It was built by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Rajnath Singh flew a Tejas aircraft today in Bangalore

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said many countries in the South East Asian region have expressed their willingness to purchase Tejas aircraft, India's indigenously-built light combat aircraft. Rajnath Singh, who became the first defence minister to fly Tejas today, said he chose to fly Tejas because it is made indigenously.

Speaking about his experience of flying the Tejas aircraft, Rajanath Singh, "The fight was very smooth and comfortable. I was thrilled."

Rajnath Singh also congratulated the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the organisation the built Tejas along with DRDO and some other agencies.

"We have reached a level where we can now export fighter planes across the world," Rajnath Singh said after the flight.

In a tweet, Rajnath Singh said, "Flying on Tejas, an indigenous light combat aircraft from Bangalore's HAL Airport was an amazing and exhilarating experience. Tejas is a multi-role fighter with several critical capabilities. It is meant to strengthen India's air defence capabilities."

Wearing a G suit, Rajnath Singh buckled himself in the seat behind the pilot in the aircraft. He was accompanied by Air-Vice Marshal N Tiwari, who is also the Project Director, National Flight Test Centre, ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) in Bangalore.

The IAF has already inducted a batch of Tejas aircraft. The naval version of the TEJAS is in development stage.

Last Friday in Goa, Tejas had successfully carried out an "arrested landing", a key performance, demonstrating its ability to land on board an aircraft carrier, making it a major milestone in development of the naval variant of the fighter jet.

Initially, the IAF had placed an order with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for 40 Tejas aircraft. Last year, the IAF issued the request for proposal (RFP) to HAL for the procurement of another batch of 83 Tejas at a cost of over Rs 50,000 crore.

The Tejas is an indigenous light weight, multi role supersonic aircraft developed in both fighter and trainer versions.

Advanced materials like composites are used in the manufacture of the Tejas to reduce weight and increase the component life.

The Tejas is designed to carry a veritable plethora of air-to-air, air-to- surface, precision guided and standoff weaponry.