Indian Air Force's home-grown fighter jet LCA Tejas completes maiden mid-air refuelling trial.

In a first, India's home-grown Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas completed mid-air refuelling trial. More such trials are likely to take place in the coming months.

In what is likely to fuel the reach of the indigenous fighter jet, the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Wednesday successfully tested the mid-air refuelling of the home-grown Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas. The operation was carried out with an Il- 78 MKI tanker- the IAF said on Wednesday.


"The success of these trials is a major leap for the indigenous fighter, thus enhancing its mission capability by increasing its range and payload. The ability to carry out air-to-air refuelling is one of the critical requirements for the Light Combat Aircraft to achieve final operational clearance," the IAF said in a release.

According to agencies, the tanker was launched from its 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. A second Tejas aircraft flying in formation was used to observe the exercise closely.

"All flight parameters of Tejas aircraft were transmitted live to a ground control unit set-up at the Gwalior airbase, wherein Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) scientists constantly monitored the technical parameters of the mission. "Prior to the test flight, extensive ground trials were conducted in all possible conditions under the supervision of ADA scientists," the IAF said.

According to news agency PTI, nine more tests will be held in the months to come. They will also include wet tests, meaning actual transfer of fuel from the tanker aircraft to the fighter jet. According to PTI, the fighter jet, part of the 'Flying Daggers' of the 45 Squadron, was formally operationalised at a ceremony attended by Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (Southern Air Command) RKS Bhadauria. (Source: timesnow)

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