Indian Tejas fighter jet crashes in Rajasthan for first time in 23 years

Screenshot of a Tejas fighter jet after it crashed in Rajasthan. — News18/File

An Indian Air Force Tejas fighter jet crashed into a student hostel in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, during a training flight for the first time since its purchase in 2016.

The pilot evacuated safely and there were no reports of injuries to anyone on the ground.

This is the first crash of the fighter jet since its first test flight in 2001. Notably, the Indian Air Force purchased it in 2016.

The plane crashed at the Students’ Home near Lakshmi Chand Sanwal Colony in Jaisalmer around 2 pm. According to the Indian Air Force, the pilot successfully ejected and has requested an investigation into the incident.

The Indian Air Force said: “A Tejas fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force encountered an accident while conducting combat training in Jaisalmer today. The pilot ejected safely. A court of inquiry has been set up to ascertain the cause of the accident.”

After the crash, the plane also caught fire, which has been extinguished. Whether the aircraft was involved in war activities in Rajasthan remains unknown.

A witness at the scene said: “I was standing nearby. The pilot ejected and I saw the parachute open. The plane crashed to the ground and made a huge explosion.”

The Indian Navy flies single-seat Tejas fighter jets, while the Indian Air Force also flies two-seat training fighter jets. On March 22, 2016, the second series production (SP2) version of the Tejas aircraft in Initial Operating Clearance (IOC) configuration made its first flight. However, Technology Demonstrator-1 (TD-1) made its first test flight in 2001.

In addition, the Tejas fighter is a multi-role fighter belonging to the 4.5th generation light fighter family, capable of providing close combat and offensive air support for ground combat.

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Due to its small size and extensive reliance on composite materials, Tejas is the lightest and most compact aircraft in its class.

House of Flying Daggers, also known as No. 45 Squadron, was the first squadron of the Indian Air Force to receive Tejas fighter jets in 2016. The 18th Squadron became the second Indian Air Force unit to be equipped with Tejas fighter jets in 2020.

In addition to the 40 Tejas MK-1 aircraft already flying, the Indian Air Force is expected to receive another 83 Tejas MK-1A fighter jets as part of a contract worth over Rs 36,000 crore.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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