The Indian Air Force carries out first-ever mid-air refuelling of indigenously build Tejas

Published: September 11, 2018

The Indian Air Force has successfully carried out the first-ever mid-air refuelling of the indigenously build fighter aircraft Tejas MK 1 with an IL-78 MKI tanker of the 78 Sqn. The feat was achieved when 1,900 kg of fuel was transferred from the mid-air refuelling Russian-built tanker IL78 to the Tejas LSP8 at an altitude of 20,000 feet. The tanker aircraft was launched from 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 IL78, piloted by Wing Commander Siddarth Singh, accomplished the task with designers from HAL and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) closely monitoring system parameters from the ground station at Gwalior. With this first trial, the aircraft gets much closer to the important battle-ready tag, called the FOC or the final operational clearance. Beside this, India has also joined an elite group of countries having air-to-air refuelling capacity for military planes.

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