Our Indian armed forces are getting into better heights and improvising in working for the nation.
This is an impressive methodology, adopted by Indian air forces, which involves transferring fuel from a transport aircraft to a buddy jet. The technique ensures a longer operational reach of the aircraft without halting the mission in progress.
An Indian Air Force (IAF) Embraer transport aircraft with Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) function got a major operational boost, which will allow it to prolong its surveillance missions.
An Embracer transport carried out Air to Air Refuelling (AAR)-which is the capability helping the aircraft, specialized to conduct Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) function to fly a long duration flight beyond the aircrafts stated endurance. “It is also the first time that the AAR has been carried out on the Embraer platform,” the IAF said in a statement.
#WATCH An Indian Air Force Embraer transport aircraft specialized to conduct Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) function, successfully carried out Air to Air Refueling (AAR), pic.twitter.com/GFK0H2iGCV
— ANI (@ANI) November 30, 2017
How does this technique work?
The technique is very appropriately called “Mid-Air Refuelling” or “In-Flight Refuelling”. Almost all military aircraft use this technique to extend their range, including aircraft of the Indian Air Force.
There are two techniques in use: The “probe-and-drogue” system first used by the British, and the “steerable boom” system, used by the Americans.
The latter is longer (thanks to two cylindrical “plugs being inserted in front of and behind the wings) and features a Universal Aerial Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation (UARRSI) just above and behind the cockpit.
Using these provisions, a tanker aircraft transfers fuel to the receiver by plugging a boom into the UARRSI.
The notable fact here is that the aircraft must fly very close to each other. This requires special training and generally is not done with passengers on board unless essential to a military mission.
The other means of passing fuel from a tanker to a receiver is by using a “probe and drogue” system. The tanker trails a hose with a funnel-shaped receptacle behind it, and the receiver plugs a long probe into that receptacle. This is the only practical method of transferring fuel to a helicopter due to the length of the main rotor blades.
The achievement has given a tremendous boost to Indian Air Force’s operational capability.