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Tejas completes in-flight refuelling test
Tejas in-flight refuelling trial. © IAF

Tejas completes in-flight refuelling test

India's Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) has completed another step towards Final Operational Clearance (FOC) following the successful completion of a ‘wet contact’ in-flight refuelling trial on 10th September.

India's Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) has completed another step towards Final Operational Clearance (FOC) following the successful completion of a ‘wet contact’ in-flight refuelling trial on 10th September. A total of 1,900kg of fuel was transferred to the Tejas from the Il-78 tanker aircraft.

The refueling was carried out at an altitude of 20,000ft. The aircraft speed was 270 knots, and all internal tanks and drop tanks were refuelled.

The performance of aircraft systems during the trial was reported to be in-line with design requirements, closely matching the results of extensive ground tests.

The ‘wet contact’ trial was preceded by dry trials on 4th and 6th September where the drogue extended from the IAF tanker aircraft was tracked and plugged into using the aircraft refuelling probe, without taking fuel. IAF provided all required support to DRDO including the tanker aircraft for the successful test flight.

Tejas completed a second successful test firing of a Derby beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) in April — another key capability for FOC.

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