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According to HAL Press Realise, Maiden Mid-air Refueling Trial (Actual) of LCA was Successful carried out at Bengaluru today and Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas LSP8) has successfully completed the Wet (actual) fuel transfer from an IL78 Tanker.

IAF IL78 mid-air refueling tanker transferred 1900 Kgs of fuel at an altitude of 20000 ft while LSP-8 was at the speed of 270 knots. Both Internal and External drop tanks were refueled successfully in today’s test.

A few days ago, LSP-8 had successfully carried out “Dry” Mid-air Refueling contact with the IL78 Tanker but no actual transfer of fuel had taken place at that time. In today’s trial, the actual transfer of fuel has taken place thus completing one of the critical requirement for the grant of FOC Certification for the LCA-Tejas MK1 program.

According to industry sources close to, More mid-air refueling trials will be carried out for next few days at different altitudes and speeds and only then it will be cleared for Buddy mid-air refueling trials from a Sukhoi-Su30MKI aircraft.

Official DRDO Press Release 

in a significant achievement and a major step towards Final Operational Clearance (FOC) of LCA Tejas, the mid-air refuelling of ‘wet contact’ trial for LCA Tejas MK-1 was successfully carried out today from an Indian Air Force base. The trial was a part of the Air-to-Air refuelling flight tests conducted by IAF.

Before this ‘wet contact’ trial, the ‘dry contact trials’ were successfully conducted on September 04 & 06, 2018 where the Drogue (basket) extended from the IAF tanker aircraft by a fuel hose, 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.

The Air-to-Air refuelling capability for LCA is a ‘force multiplier’ for the IAF, giving the aircraft the potential to stay airborne for much longer periods of time.

The enhanced range and endurance in air is expected to provide IAF a host of options in exploiting the operational potential of the LCA as well as to participate in international exercises without having to stage through several locations enroute.

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman has complimented DRDO-ADA, IAF, HAL and other agencies involved in the mission.

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