June 17, 2019 | 9:23 AM IST

First ever mid-air refuelling of Tejas at an altitude of 20K feet

India has joined the elite club after first ever mid-air refuelling of the light combat aircraft Tejas was successfully carried out on Monday at an altitude of 20,000 feet. The refuelling was done at 9:30 am and 1900 kg fuel was transferred from IAF IL78 to Tejas LSP8, said a release from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., which has developed the light combat aircraft. The milestone was achieved days after the IAF successfully conducted a dry run of mid-air refuelling from the Russian-build IL78 MKI Tanker. "The Light Combat Aircraft has successfully completed the wet (actual) engagement today by transferring 1,900 kg fuel from IAF IL78 mid-air refuelling tanker," the release said. The IAF IL78 was piloted by WG CDR Siddarth Singh along with designers from HAL and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to closely monitor the system parameters from the ground station at Gwalior. According to the HAL, the Tejas was flying at the speed of 270 knots during the refuelling process of all the internal tanks and drop tanks.

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