Tejas crashes in Jaisalmer in first crash involving indigenous LCA, no casualties

Jaisalmer : A Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) of the Indian Air Force crashed in Jaisalmer in Rajasthan on Tuesday during an operational training sortie, the first such incident involving the indigenously-built jet.

The pilot ejected safely and there were no casualties, officials said.

In a brief statement, the IAF said a court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.

The crash took place around 100 km from the Pokhran desert where a mega war game ‘Bharat Shakti’ witnessed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top military brass was underway.

Military sources indicated that the Tejas jet was to be part of the exercise.

Jaisalmer Additional Superintendent of Police Mahendra Singh said that there was no loss of property or human life in the crash near Kalla residential colony. Thick black smoke was seen billowing out from a single-storey brick structure where the aircraft crashed.

Officials said it was the first Tejas jet involved in an accident.

“A Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas of the Indian Air Force crashed near Jaisalmer today during an operational training sortie. The pilot ejected safely,” the IAF said.

“A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident,” it said.

Manufactured by state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the Tejas aircraft is a potent platform for air combat and offensive air support missions while reconnaissance and anti-ship operations are its secondary roles.

Tejas aircraft are set to be the mainstay of the IAF. It has already inducted nearly 40 Tejas of initial variants.

In February 2021, the defence ministry sealed a Rs 48,000 crore deal with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd for the procurement of 83 Tejas MK-1A jets for the IAF.

In November last, the ministry accorded an initial approval to procure an additional batch of 97 Tejas jets for the IAF.