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LCA Tejas clears maiden mid-air refuelling trial

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    20th Sep, 2018

The Indian Air Force successfully carried out first ever mid-air refuelling of indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas MK-1.

Context

The Indian Air Force successfully carried out first ever mid-air refuelling of indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas MK-1.

About

  • With this trial, India joins in elite group of countries which have successfully developed air-to-air refuelling system for military aircraft.
  • The trial was first wet mid-air refuelling of LCA Tejascarried out by transferring 1,900 kg of fuel at an altitude of 20,000 feet.

Significance

  • Air-to-air refuelling capability for LCA will be a force multiplier for IAF as it enhances potential of aircraft to stay airborne for much longer periods of time, thus increasing its range and endurance.
  • LCA will get much closer to acquiring final operational clearance (FOC), an important battle-ready tag with this trial.
  • It will also enable IAF options to exploit operational potential of LCA as well as to participate in international exercises without having to stop or stage through several locations en-route.
  • IAF currently operates nine LC Tejas fighters built to Initial Operating Clearance (IOC) standardindigenously built by Hindustan Aeronautical Limited.
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