The aircraft speed was 270 knots and all the internal tanks and drop tanks were refueled
GN Bureau | September 11, 2018
In a major development, the light combat aircraft (Tejas LSP8) built by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has successfully completed the wet (actual) engagement by transferring 1900 kgs fuel from Indian Air Force’s IL78 mid-air refueling tanker.
The air-to-air refuelling capability has given a major thrust to the IAF and is considered as a force multiplier for the air force, giving Tejas the potential to stay airborne for much longer periods of time.
The refueling was carried out at an altitude of 20,000 feet. The aircraft speed was 270 knots and all the internal tanks and drop tanks were refueled. Prior to this, the successful dry docking of aerial refueling probe with mother tanker was carried out on September 4 and 6, 2018.
IAF provided all required support to DRDO including the tanker aircraft for the successful test flight.
The enhanced range and endurance in air is likely to provide IAF a host of options in exploiting the operational potential of Tejas as well as to participate in international exercises without having to stage through several locations enroute.
DRDO-ADA, IAF and HAL were lauded by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
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