India-based state-owned aerospace and defence company Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has successfully demonstrated hot refuelling on domestically built light combat aircraft (LCA), Tejas LSP8.
The hot refuelling trial was followed by a sortie at the company’s airport in Bengaluru, taking the multi-role fighter jet close to its final operational clearance (FOC).
The Tejas fighter will be the first aircraft in service with the Indian Air Force (IAF) that would operate with the new hot refuelling capability.
HAL said that the system performance demonstrated by the fighter jet during the refuelling session was satisfactorily in accordance with the design requirements of the process.
The hot refuelling process is a single point pressure refuelling that allows a fighter jet to be refuelled in between sorties, while having its engine in operation.
In a combat situation, this process will help cut down the refuelling time by half in addition to reducing the turn-around time significantly.
It also eliminates the need for the pilot to park the aircraft, power down, and exit the cockpit for the refuelling process.
Being the smallest and lightest multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft variant of its class, LCA Tejas LSP8 is a single engine, compound-delta-wing, tailless fighter jet.
The aircraft has been designed and developed by India’s Aeronautical Development Agency with HAL being the principal partner.
The other partners include the Defence Research and Development Organization, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Bharat Electronics, Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance, Indian Navy, and IAF.
Earlier this month, the LCA Tejas SP-5 variant, which will serve as the seventh member of the No 45 Squadron of the IAF, completed its maiden flight.