This video shows you that In-Flight Refuelling Probe Testing To Begin Soon On LCA Tejas.
A nearly year ago UK based Company “Cobham” handed over in-flight refuelling probe for integration with LCA-Tejas MK-1 and now HAL is planning to start the first trial runs in next few weeks said informed sources close to us.
Limited Series Production-8 (LSP-8) stopped flying from January this year and has been already integrated with supplied in-flight refuelling probe and land-based trials have been carried out after structural modification were performed on LSP-8 for probe integration which also saw software upgrades to enable fuel sensors to detect mid-air fuel supply and to show correct fuel capacity to pilots.
LSP-8 will start flying again in next few weeks to conduct carriage trials before mockup dry trials will begin wherein the first phase IAF’s Ilyushin IL-78 air-to-air refuelling tanker aircraft and LSP-8 will carry out mockup mid-air refuelling where both aircraft will fly in close proximity to record and study behavior of the tanker’s fuel-transferring systems in the vicinity of the probe and the handling qualities of the aircraft.
The second phase will see actual contact with the fuel transferring systems of tanker with the in-flight refuelling probe of LCA-Tejas aircraft but no fuel transfer will actually take place , tests will be repeated till it achieves 2-5 minutes in contact with tanker which is actual fuel transfer time usually taken by tanker to pump fuel into a fighter jet. Wet runs trials will be followed after completion of Dry run trials where actual fuel transfer will take place which may happen only in next year .
Integration and demonstration of mid-air refuelling probe on LCA-Tejas are one of the key requirement to obtain Final Operational Clearance (FOC) . First, 20 IOC-II certified LCA-Tejas MK-1 will initially be produced and delivered without in-flight refuelling capacity but will be upgraded at a later stage since all aircraft will come with provision for pumps and fuel lines for IFR integration at a later stage.
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