NEW DELHI: An Embraer transport aircraft with Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) system successfully carried out air-to-air refuelling (AAR).
This capability would give the aircraft capacity to fly for longer duration, beyond the aircraft’s stated endurance.
This is also the first time that air-to-air refuelling 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 such 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,” an official statement from the Indian Air Force said.
“A mere 10 minute in-flight refuelling can generate additional four hours of flying endurance. The achievement has given a tremendous boost to Indian Air Force’s operational capability,” it said.
The AEW&C System is a system of systems populated with state-of-the art Active Electronically Scanned Radar, Secondary Surveillance Radar, Electronic and Communication Counter Measures, LOS (Line of Sight) and beyond LOS data link, voice communication system and self protection suite, built on an Emb-145 platform, having an air to air refuelling capability to enhance surveillance time. It is mounted on a Brazilian Embraer-145 jet.