SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
Replacing the Inflight-refueling probe on LCA-Tejas Mk1 with a different probe made by a different vendor will require not only structural modification but also require a change in the internal fuel pipeline system that will require expensive redesign on the internals of the aircraft warned Ex-PSU official to idrw.org.
The official who wants to be unnamed said that not only HAL needs to find another vendor to develop an IFR probe customized for the LCA-Tejas Mk1 aircraft but also will need to go through a series of recertification trials. Trials will involve extensive ground tests of the air-to-air refueling system followed up with a series of dry docking of aerial refueling probes and later Wet (actual) engagement refueling trials from a mid-air refueling tanker.
It is estimated that it will take nearly two years to find a new vendor and complete whole recertification trials from the ground up and can be accomplished only if the User (Argentina ) is ready to wait for this capability to be enabled post delivery. These additional expenses might need to be borne by HAL which will cut into the profit margins of the aircraft since it is for a small order of 18 jets.
LCA-Tejas Mk1A aircraft will be getting a British aerospace Cobham Limited developed Inflight-refueling probe while the internals of the aircraft including its piping and fuel pump was designed locally, change of probe to match to the same specification will not be possible due to Intellectual property (IP) of the company that is not with HAL.
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