India’s locally designed Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) has demonstrated its hot refuelling capability, the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) announced on 27 February: a move that brings the platform closer to achieving final operational clearance (FOC).
HAL carried out a hot refuelling of a Tejas LCA LSP8 on 26 February, which was followed by a sortie of the aircraft from HAL airport in Bengaluru, the company said in a statement, adding that “system performance during the refuelling session was in-line with design requirements”.
The Tejas LCA is the first aircraft in the Indian Air Force (IAF) service being qualified for hot refuelling, HAL added.
The latest development comes after the IAF issued a request for proposal (RFP) to HAL on 20 December 2017 for the procurement of 83 Tejas LCAs for an estimated INR500.25 billion (USD7.8 billion).
HAL officials told Jane’s at the time that they received an RFP for 73 single-engine LCA Mk 1A multirole fighters and 10 tandem two-seat LCA trainers, adding that they would respond to the RFP in three months, detailing the eventual configuration of the platforms along with the delivery schedules.
HAL is currently under contract for the delivery of a total of 40 Mk 1 LCAs: 20 aircraft with initial operational clearance (IOC) and another 20 with final operational clearance (FOC). Eight of the 40 aircraft are set to be trainers.
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