Bengaluru: India's first home-grown fighter jet was finally inducted into the IAF yesterday after a tortuous saga spread over 33 long years with the launch of the first squadron of two Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas here, in a major milestone in the country's military aviation.

A priest offers prayers during the induction of Tejas into the IAF fold at HAL (ASTE) in Bengaluru yesterday. Pic/PTI
A priest offers prayers during the induction of Tejas into the IAF fold at HAL (ASTE) in Bengaluru yesterday. Pic/PTI

A Tejas aircraft, the fourth plus generation lightweight, multi-role supersonic single engine jet sporting the IAF colours soared to the skies, marking the raising of the first squadron of Tejas in the force at a ceremony preceded by inter-faith prayers, more than three decades after it went into development.

PM Narendra Modi hailed the induction of Tejas as a matter of 'unparalleled pride and happiness' and a step which illustrates the skills and strengths of Indian scientists. Air Marshal Jasbir Wali said it is a 'milestone' with regard to indigenisation and self reliance.

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@narendramodi: I laud HAL & ADA on the induction of Tejas fighter jet. This illustrates our skills & strengths to enhance indigenous defence manufacturing.

@AmitShah: Induction of 'Made In India' fighter jet #Tejas is a great leap in defence sector which will boost the morale of our IAF. #TransformingIndia

@Logical_Bhaqt: Engine American Radar and weapons Israeli Ejection seat British #Tejas = Indigenious Assembled Aircraft!!!