India’s first indigenous fighter aircraft LCA Tejas is set to get even more powerful. The Central Scientific and Instrument Organisation (CSIO) has successfully developed Drogue Light (illumination system) for LCA Tejas making India only the third nation to have this technology. Only the US and France have this technology as of now.
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The “Drogue Light” technology will enable air to air refuelling of the Tejas fighter jets which is otherwise not possible during the night or overcast skies. The system is expected to be ready for use by the end of this year as per secondary research by EurAsian Times.
The indigenous lighting system will also bring great cost-effectiveness to Indian defence as this technology developed by the CSIO will only cost one-fifth of the cost available with the offshore vendors. The technology developed by the CSIO will also have a greater illumination even than the French Rafael.
The project will cost INR 2.51 crore project will be funded by Aeronautical Development Agency headquartered in Bangalore. The illumination system is developed in such a manner that it is fitted outside the cockpit. At present, the illumination system is undergoing several certification tests by agencies under the Indian Air Force.
What is Drogue Light?
The drogue light is an external lighting equipment to facilitate illumination of mother tanker. Low pressure and immense drag force at high altitudes make air to air refuelling tough. For precise alignment of the receiver aircraft, the drogue needs to be illuminated.
As reported by the Eurasian Times earlier, the Indian Air Force is also developing through DRDO the fifth generation fighter jets. These fighter jets are expected to make their first flight by 2032. India is going under rigorous developments and innovations to bolster its military might given the changing dynamics of war and global affairs. India does not want to be sidelined in terms of military modernisation especially when the US, Russia and China are taking giant leaps in terms of military modernisation.