In a first, a Tejas fighter jet was refuelled mid-air by an Indian Air Force aircraft on Tuesday. According to a report in NDTV, it is major step that would ensure expansion of the range up to which the fighter jet can strike in combat situations.
As per the report, there was no actual transfer of fuel from the Indian Air Force II-78 tanker to the light combat aircraft. Several more tests need to be conducted to validate the capability of Tejas fighter jet, which is made in India. One of these tests would also include actual transfer of fuel.
The indigenous supersonic fourth-generation fighter has been inducted by the Indian Air Force into the No 45 Squadron 'The Flying Daggers', based at Sulur Air Force Station at Kangayampalayam in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) had in late 2017 cleared the acquisition of 83 LCA Tejas Mk1A aircraft and the HAL has also ramped up the production of the jet from eight per year to 16.
The 83 Tejas Mk1A will come for Rs 50,000 crore and help the IAF which has been struggling with the depleting number of fighter squadrons.
India has also joined the select club of US, Europe, Russia and China having the capability of Deck Landing of fighter aircraft. The LCA Tejas Naval Prototype 2 (NP2), piloted by Captain Shivnath Dahiya safely executed the first contact of the arrestor hook system with Arresting wire at moderate taxi-in speeds on location at the Shore Based Test Facility, INS Hansa, Goa on August 2.