BENGALURU: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has successfully carried out a hot re-fuelling procedure on the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft-Tejas at the HAL airfield. The system performance during the refuelling session was in-line with design requirements and was satisfactory.
Hot re-fuelling or in-flight refuelling is a complex procedure involving the integration of a probe on to the front of the canopy and on the right side of the aircraft. It involves a single point pressure refuelling of the aircraft with the engine in operation.
This capability is highly desired in combat situations which basically puts aside the need for the pilot to park the aircraft, power down and exit the cockpit for refuelling to begin
The aerial refuelling probe for the LCA Tejas Limited Series Production-8 (LSP-8) is being supplied by UK based Cobham.
Apart from HAL Tejas, the Mirage is another IAF fighter aircraft with mid-flight re-fuelling capabilities.
Operational aerial-refuelling capabilities are expected to be onboard HAL Tejas mid-way through 2018.