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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.

Tejas Mk1 fleet has now been cleared to undergo air-to-air refueling after it was granted certification for in-flight refueling process after it demonstrated air to air refueling in all flight regimes after it begin its extensive trials since 2018. Defense Journalist Anantha Krishnan M who broke this news said that the Tejas Mk1 using hose-and-drogue system mounted on the Ilyushin Il-78MKI Tanker has cleared all trials and also has demonstrated buddy-buddy aerial refueling with Sukhoi-30MKI.

Cobham-supplied refueling probe was first used on a modified limited series production aircraft ( LSP-8) aircraft in 2018 when it begin series of “dry” contacts trials before the first fuel transfer took place later in the same year. All 16 final operational clearance (FOC) Tejas Mk1 are being equipped with an in-flight refueling probe and gradually it will also be equipped on 16 initial operational clearance standard jets and will come as standard on all 73 Tejas Mk1A recently ordered by IAF.

LA-5023 (SP-27) that could be the 7th final operational clearance (FOC) standard jet is currently being prepped for its first flight. HAL is also in the process of carrying out final integration on SP-28, SP-29, and SP-30, while SP-31, SP-32, and SP-33 are still on the assemble rig.

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