India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas demonstrated a hot refueling capability meeting a major requirement of the Indian Air Force
Inching close to Final Operational Clearance (FOC) of the Tejas, its manufacturer, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) carried out a hot refueling, which means to fill fuel while the engine is on, followed by a sortie at HAL airport, Bengalore yesterday.
The system performance during the refueling session was in-line with design requirements and was satisfactory.
In the history of IAF aircraft, LCA will be the first aircraft to fly with this unique capability of hot refueling and HAL has successfully demonstrated this on LCA Tejas limited series production (LSP) 8 aircraft.
Hot Refueling is a single point pressure refueling of the aircraft with the engine in operation. It is a process by which a fighter aircraft is refueled (in between sorties) while its engine is running, thereby cutting down the refueling time by half and turn-around time significantly.
This capability is highly desired in combat situation which basically puts aside the need for the pilot to park the aircraft, power down and exit the cockpit for refueling to begin.
Further, with this, a major requirement of LCA Air Force Mk.1A has been achieved.