The Indian Air Force (IAF) has completed an air-to-air refuelling (AAR) mission on Embraer airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) transport aircraft.
The AAR allows the aircraft to fly a long duration flight beyond the aircraft’s stated endurance.
It was carried out by using the ‘probe and drogue’ methodology, which requires pilots to have exceptional flying skills as the receiving aircraft has to accurately insert the receptacle probe into the basket-shaped drogue trailing behind the fuel tanker aircraft, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) stated.
The aircraft performing AAR must also maintain extremely accurate flying parameters.
A statement posted on the Indian Press Information Bureau website read: “A mere ten-minute in-flight refuelling can generate an additional four hours of flying endurance.
“The achievement has given a tremendous boost to Indian Air Force’s operational capability.”
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has selected the Embraer EMB-145 for the IAF.
The AEW&C system can be used to detect, track and identify threats, guidance and interception control, display of air situation picture, and multi-sensor data integration.
It allows the armed forces to communicate with fighter jets and other AEW&C assets, while it permits search-and-rescue (SAR) operations, mission planning, as well as record and replay for post-mission analysis.
The aircraft was modified to equip the cabin with five operator workstations, four racks, additional fuselage fuel tanks, and five rest crew seats.