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India joins elite club as Tejas completes key mid-air refuelling trial

The mid-air refuelling of Tejas came three months after it successfully fired an air-to-air beyond visual range missile

Press Trust of India  |  Bengaluru 

tejas

The first ever mid-air refuelling of the indigenously developed light combat was successfully carried out Monday, (HAL) said.

The milestone was achieved at 9.30 am when 1,900 kg of fuel was transferred from the mid-air refuelling tanker of IAF's IL78 to the LSP8 at an altitude of 20,000 feet, said a release from HAL, which has developed the light combat (LCA).

The feat was achieved days after the (IAF) successfully did a dry run of mid-air refuelling using the Russian-built IL-78 MKI tanker.

"The Light Combat (LSP8) has successfully completed the wet (actual) engagement today by transferring 1,900 kg fuel from IL78 mid-air refuelling tanker," the release said.

The IL78, piloted by Wg Cdr Siddarth Singh, accomplished the task with designers from and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) closely monitoring system parameters from the ground station at Gwalior.

According to the HAL, the speed of Tejas was 270 knots when all the internal tanks and drop tanks were refuelled.

"With this, joins an elite group of countries who have developed the Air-to-Air (AAR) (refuelling) system for military class of aircraft," Chairman and Managing Director R Madhavan was quoted as saying in the release.

Successful 'dry' docking of aerial refuelling probe with the mother tanker was carried out on September 4 and 6, he said. officials said in the dry docking no fuel was transferred.

The mid-air refuelling of Tejas came three months after it successfully fired an air-to-air beyond visual (BVR) range missile.

The had ordered 40 Tejas Mark-1 version and a request for proposal was issued to HAL by the IAF in December for procurement of another batch of 83 Tejas at a cost of around Rs 500 billion.

First Published: Mon, September 10 2018. 19:25 IST
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