Watch The Awesome Midair Refuelling Of An IAF Airborne Early Warning Aircraft From A Tanker

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2:40 pm 1 Dec, 2017


The Indian Air Force (IAF) is setting new benchmarks every day. Very recently the IAF had conducted a massive landing and take-off operation on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway. Sixteen IAF aircrafts participated in the exercise aimed at ensuring emergency landing strips for planes.


A Mirage doing a touch-and-go on the Yamuna Expressway. PTI

A major highlight of this exercise was the landing of the 35,000 kg C-130J Super Hercules aircraft on the expressway.


And then the IAF successfully test fired a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from a Sukhoi Su-30MKI. That helped India achieve a monumental cruise missile triad which means that India can now fire cruise missiles from land, sea or air.

On Thursday, the IAF placed another feather in its cap. Two of IAF’s best known recon and transport aircraft successfully completed air-to-air refueling (AAR).



It was the first time ever that an IAF DRDO-Embraer aircraft carried out an AAR. The aircraft is designed to conduct Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) function.


A DRDO-Embraer aircraft. Indian Defence News

The aircraft received fuel via the “Probe and Drogue” methodology from an Ilyushin IL-78M.


An Ilyushin IL-78M refuelling two Dassault Mirage aircraft. Wikimedia Commons

In a statement the IAF said that the “Probe and Drogue” methodology “requires exceptional flying skills” because both aircrafts have to fly at exactly the same parameters at the time of refueling.

The pilots of the receiving aircraft have to ensure that the probe is accurately inserted in drogue trailing behind the fuel tanker aircraft.

Here, watch how the aircraft refuelled midair.

According to the IAF, a 10 minute in-flight refuelling can generate additional four hours of flying endurance.

Air-to-air refueling is a capability only a handful of air forces in the world possess. Being India’s only AEW&C aircraft fitted on an Embraer, the IAF says that the achievement will enhance the operational capability of the force.


The IAF has three more AEW&C aircraft in the form of Beriev A-50 which has midair refueling capability.

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