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IAF carries out first ever mid-air refuelling of Tejas light combat jet

On 04 Sep 2018, IAF successfully carried out the 1st ever Air to Air refueling of the indigenously build fighter aircraft Tejas MK1 with an IL-78 tanker aircraft. Photo: IAF Twitter.

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian Air Force said Wednesday it has successfully carried out the first ever mid air refuelling of the indigenously developed Tejas light combat aircraft, a major milestone in its development cycle.

A Russian-built IL-78 MKI tanker transferred fuel to a Tejas MK I aircraft on Tuesday.

"The tanker was launched from IAF's base in Agra while the fighter was launched from Gwalior. The specially modified Tejas aircraft carried out a series of test profiles including a 'dry contact' with the tanker," the IAF said.

It said a second Tejas aircraft was deployed to observe the exercise closely.

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

The Indian Air Force (IAF) had ordered 40 Tejas Mark-1 version and a request for proposal (RFP) was issued to HAL by the IAF in December for procurement of another batch of 83 Tejas at a cost of around Rs 50,000 crore.

"All flight parameters of Tejas aircraft were transmitted live to a ground control unit set-up at Gwalior airbase, wherein ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) scientists constantly monitored the technical parameters of the mission," it said.

Prior to the test flight, extensive ground trials were conducted in all possible conditions under the supervision of ADA scientists.

"The success of these trials is a major leap for the indigenous fighter.The ability to carry out air-to-air refuelling is one of the critical requirements for Tejas to achieve 'final operational clearance'," said the IAF.


India  IAF  Tejas  

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