India enters the elite club as IAF’s Tejas Aircraft’s first ever mid-air refuelling takes place successfully

India’s dream turns to reality after 72 years of Independence. Today, India joins an elite group of countries having air to air refuelling system for military planes. This is the success got for Make in India initiated by PM Narendra Modi but some people try and find for faults in all that our PM does.

“The first ever mid-air refuelling of the indigenously developed light combat aircraft Tejas was successfully carried out, placing India in an elite group of countries having this system for military planes”, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) said.

Today at 9.30 am when 1,900 kg of fuel was transferred from the mid-air refuelling tanker of IAF’s IL78 to the Tejas LSP8 at an altitude of 20,000 feet, it marked a milestone by India, said a release from HAL. The Indian Air Force (IAF) had ordered 40 Tejas Mark-1 version and a request for proposal was issued to HAL by the IAF in December for procurement of another batch of 83 Tejas at a cost of around Rs 50,000 crore.

The feat was achieved days after the IAF successfully did a dry run of mid-air refuelling using the Russian-built IL-78 MKI tanker. “The Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas LSP8) has successfully completed the wet (actual) engagement today by transferring 1,900 kg fuel from IAF IL78 mid-air refuelling tanker,” the release said.

The credits for piloting the Aircraft goes to Wg Cdr Siddarth Singh, the man who accomplished the task with designers from HAL and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) closely monitoring system parameters from the ground station at Gwalior.

Without second thoughts, Make In India has been one of the biggest achievements of India, that has helped our country achieve some of the greatest milestones, India had lacked from several decades. Since past 4 years, Indian Air Force has achieved developments marked worldwide.

According to the HAL, the speed of Tejas was 270 knots when all the internal tanks and drop tanks were refuelled. “With this, India joins an elite group of countries who have developed the Air-to-Air refuelling system for military class of aircraft,” quoted the HAL Chairman and Managing Director R Madhavan.

Marking the Make In India initiative, a successful ‘dry’ docking of aerial refuelling probe with the mother tanker was carried out on September 4 and 6, he said. HAL officials said in the dry docking no fuel was transferred. The mid-air refuelling of Tejas came three months after it successfully fired an air-to-air beyond visual (BVR) range missile.


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