According to latest media reports, LCA-Tejas might be soon cleared to carryout In-flight Refueling trials after aerial refuelling probe supplied by UK-based Cobham fitted on Limited Series Production-8 (LSP-8) accumulated over 45 flights with the in-flight refuelling probe from January 2017 without any abnormal in-flight situation.

LSP-8 will begin Dry contact trials with IAF’s Il-78MKI air-to-air refuelling tanker aircraft from early 2018 onwards. In first Dry contact trials, LSP-8 will connect with refuelling pods of Il-78MKI refuelling tanker aircraft but will not transfer any fuel, once Dry contact trials are cleared, in the second Wet trials phase actual transfer of fuel from the tanker to the LSP-8 will take place.

Aerial refuelling will multiply LCA-Tejas fighter aircraft range and radius and it is also one of the key parameter required to be certified before Final Operational Clearance (FOC) for LCA-Tejas is cleared by end of 2018.

LCA-Tejas will also be able to receive fuel from IAF Su-30MKI aircraft in buddy-buddy refuelling system which is also known as Aerial refuelling system (ARS) equipped on Su-30MKI aircrafts.


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