India’s first indigenously made light combat helicopter (LCH) will be inducted in the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday. The induction will take place in Jodhpur at an event in the presence of defence minister Rajnath Singh and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari.
“I would be in Jodhpur, Rajasthan tomorrow, 3rd October, to attend the Induction ceremony of the first indigenously developed Light Combat Helicopters (LCH). The induction of these helicopters will be a big boost to the IAF’s combat prowess. Looking forward to it,” Singh tweeted.
The multi-role LCH platform capable of firing a range of missiles and other weapons has been designed to boost Indian Air Force’s combat prowess. In March, the government approved procurement of 15 indigenously developed Limited Series Production (LSP) LCH at a cost of Rs3,887 crore, reported news agency PTI.
Features And Capabilities
-LCH has been developed by state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL)
-The aircraft has been primarily designed for deployment in high-altitude regions
– The helicopter can fly at a max speed of 268 kmph and has a range of 550 km
– The 5.8-tonne twin-engine helicopter has already completed various weapons firing tests
– The LCH has similarities with Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv. The platform has stealth features, armoured-protection systems, night attack capability and crash-worthy landing gear for better survivability.
The LCH is equipped with requisite agility, manoeuvrability, extended range, high altitude performance and all-weather combat capability to perform a range of roles including combat search and rescue (CSAR), destruction of enemy air defence (DEAD) and counter-insurgency (CI) operations.
-The helicopter can also be deployed in high-altitude bunker-busting operations, counter-insurgency operations in the jungles and urban environments as well as for supporting ground forces
-The helicopter can also be used against slow-moving aircraft and remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) of adversaries
-Several key aviation technologies like a glass cockpit and composite airframe structure have been indigenised into the LCH
-Around 10 helicopters would be for the IAF and five will be for the Indian Army, according to the ministry of defence
-The future series-production version will consist of further modern and indigenous systems.
-The system has been tested under stringent operating conditions including at sea level, in desert regions and in Siachen. In February 2020, it was declared ready for production.
-The Army has a plan to acquire 95 LCH largely for a combat role in the mountains.