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Indian Fighter Plane Tejas Crashed during Training

Tejas fighter plane crashed in western state of Rajasthan on Tuesday.

An indigenously built Tejas fighter plane of the Indian Air Force crashed in the western state of Rajasthan on Tuesday, the first such incident since the jet was inducted nearly eight years ago.

According to an Air Force statement, the pilot made a safe ejection.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is pushing for local manufacturing as India seeks to shed its reputation as one of the world’s largest importers of defense equipment.

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India inducted the light fighter jet, named Tejas, meaning flame or shine in Sanskrit, into the force in 2016 after a long wait in its efforts to modernize its large Soviet-era fleet.

Tuesday’s crash broke the jet’s safety record since its first test flight more than two decades ago, an Air Force official told Reuters.

Modi had ambitious plans last year to more than triple the value of annual defense exports to $5 billion by 2025 from 2023 levels, and his government is making diplomatic efforts to export the Tejas.

The Indian government awarded a $6 billion contract to state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd for 83 Tejas aircraft in 2021.

The Indian Navy previously rejected the Tejas because it was too heavy, and it has had numerous design and other difficulties.

Also read this: US Releases Video Russian Fighter Jet Crash into Drone Over Black Sea

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