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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to Spend a Day on INS Vikramaditya

Rajnath Singh

New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will spend a day at sea onboard INS Vikramaditya, India’s Kiev-class aircraft carrier, in the Arabian Sea after commissioning the INS Khanderi in Mumbai on September 28, Navy Vice Chief Vice Admiral G. Ashok Kumar said on Tuesday.

The INS Khanderi, India’s second Scorpene-class attack submarine, will be commissioned into the Indian Navy along with the first P-17 Shivalik class frigate and the aircraft carrier drydock on September 28.

“Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will spend the afternoon of September 28 and the forenoon of September 29 on the sea. During the stay, he will witness all naval actions including the firing of missiles,” said Vice Admiral Kumar.

On Tuesday, defence sources further informed that Singh is scheduled to take a test flight in a twin-seater version of India’s indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) in Bengaluru on September 19.

The Defence Minister’s maiden flight on Tejas will come ahead of the Indian Air Force (IAF) placing an order for 83 jets with defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the manufacturer of the 4.5 generation combat aircraft.

In the first week of September, the pricing-related issue of the 83 jets, which had been hanging fire for long, had been successfully resolved by the Department of Defence Production with the HAL. The new batch of 83 jets will be in addition to the 40 aircraft that have already been ordered by the IAF.

On September 13, the naval version of Tejas LCA had achieved a major milestone with a successful ‘arrested landing’ at the shore-based Test Facility of INS Hansa in Goa. The Indian Navy hailed September 13 as a ‘golden letter day’ in its history. (IANS)

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