IAF achieves mile­stone in AAR on trans­port air­craft


An In­dian Air Force (IAF) Em­braer trans­port air­craft spe­cialised to con­duct Air­borne Early Warn­ing and Control (AEW&C) func­tion, suc­cess­fully car­ried out air-to-air re­fu­elling (AAR), to fly a long du­ra­tion flight beyond the air­craft’s stated en­durance. It is also the first time that AAR has been car­ried out on the Em­braer plat­form.

The ‘Probe and Drogue’ air-to-air re­fu­elling method­ol­ogy prac­ticed by IAF pi­lots re­quires 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. Dur­ing the process of air-to-air re­fu­elling both air­craft have to main­tain ex­tremely ac­cu­rate fly­ing pa­ram­e­ters. IAF is one of the few Air Forces in the world to demon­strate this ca­pa­bil­ity and the Em­braer AEW&C has also proved its prow­ess in the cat­e­gory. A mere 10 minute in-flight re­fu­elling can gen­er­ate ad­di­tional four hours of fly­ing en­durance. The achieve­ment has given a tremen­dous boost to IAF’s op­er­a­tional ca­pa­bil­ity.

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