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First and fast: Tejas fighter jet refuelled midair over Gwalior

India joins “elite group of countries” who have developed the air-to-air system for military class of aircraft, says Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

india Updated: Sep 10, 2018 21:22 IST
IANS, Bengaluru
Tejas,Indian Air Force,Tejas light combat aircraft
IAF's Light Comabt Aircraft Tejas performs during a rehearsal ahead of Aero India 2017 at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru.(PTI file photo)

India’s defence behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) on Monday for the first time refuelled a Tejas fighter aircraft midair over Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, said the company in Bengaluru.

“The light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas LSP8 was transferred 1,900kg fuel from an Indian Air Force (IAF) IL78 aerial refuelling tanker at an altitude of 20,000 feet,” HAL said in a statement.

The milestone of refuelling the internal tanks and drop tanks (external fuel tanks) was done at 9.30am over Gwalior, 400km north of Madhya Pradesh’s capital Bhopal, when the aircraft was at 270 knots speed.

“With this, India joins the elite group of countries who have developed the air-to-air system for military class of aircraft,” said R Madhavan, chairman and managing director of HAL.

The flight was piloted by Wing Commander Siddarth Singh of the National Flight Test Centre, with designers from HAL and Bengaluru-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) monitoring the parameters from the ground station at Gwalior.

A dry run of refuelling was held on September 4 and 6 over the same air space.

“The performance of aircraft systems (mainly fuel and flight control systems) during the trial were in line with the design requirements and was closely matching with the results of ground tests of air-to-air refuelling system,” HAL added.

First Published: Sep 10, 2018 17:34 IST