Jodhpur: In a first, General David L Goldfein, chief of staff of the US Air Force, flew a sortie in the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft 'Tejas' at the IAF station here in Rajasthan on Saturday.
According to reports, General Goldfein, who is on an official visit to India, was accompanied by Air Vice Marshal AP Singh as a co-pilot during the short flight.
The flight took off from Jodhpur Air Force station.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) also later tweeted a picture of Goldfein preparing to fly Tejas.
"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," the Indian Air Force said in the tweet.
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. pic.twitter.com/UQB7Rvl1PJ
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) February 3, 2018
Gen Goldfein had reached the Air Force Station in Jodhpur on Friday and flew the aircraft today. He also met Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa today.
He was accompanied by US Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen Terrence O’Shaughnessy.
They discussed ways to further enhance cooperation between the two air forces.
The US officials arrived on February 1 and a ‘Guard of Honour’ was organised on their arrival at Air Force Headquarters in New Delhi.
General Goldfein also thanked the Indian Air Force for the welcome reception.
''The IAF operates the second largest C-17 fleet in the world and continues to mature their fleet operation to support regional mobility needs. There is already a strong relationship between our two air forces & I’m looking forward to making it stronger,” he had said in a post on Facebook and Twitter.
Had many great meetings with our @IAF_MCC partners to deepen the relationship between our two air forces. The IAF operates the second largest C-17 fleet in the world & continues to mature their fleet. pic.twitter.com/NWWASXNM7m
— Gen. Dave Goldfein (@GenDaveGoldfein) February 2, 2018
Indigenously developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency, and produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Tejas, a fourth generation aircraft, can fly at 1,350 km per hour, with a payload capacity of 4,000 kg.
In November 2017, Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen flew in a Tejas jet.
The first squadron of Tejas was inducted into the IAF in July 2016.
(With ANI inputs)