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Indian Air Force gets first home-made light combat helicopter

Indian Air Force gets first home-made light combat helicopter


The Indian Air Force (IAF) today inducted the first batch of locally developed Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs) to bolster its combat prowess as the multi-role platform is capable of firing a range of missiles and other weapons.

During the induction program in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Defense Minister Rajnath SIngh said, “This is a milestone for the Air Force.” To flex the idea of Atmanirbharata, a familiar term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of self-sufficiency, the Defense Minister continued: “Since independence, the IAF has depended on foreign attack helicopters. The urgent need to reduce this dependency was felt during the Kargil war in 1999. change now.”

The IAF Chief, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, who was also present in the induction programme, said: “The LCH Initiation provides a unique capability. The helicopter has also made its evidence in the Himalayan region.”

The LCH, developed by large state-owned aerospace company Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), was primarily designed for deployment in high altitude regions.

Earlier in a Twitter post, the Defense Minister said the induction of the new helicopters would be a “big boost” to the IAF’s “combat prowess”.

LCH Government Approval

In March, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the purchase of 15 locally developed Limited Series Production (LSP) LSPs at a cost of Rs 3,887 crore.

The Ministry of Defense had said 10 helicopters would be for the IAF and five for the Indian Army.

The LCH has similarities with Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv. It has a number of stealth features, armored protection systems, night attack capability and crash-resistant landing gear for better survivability, officials said.

The characteristics and capabilities of the LCH

The LCH is equipped with the agility, maneuverability, extended range, high altitude performance and all-weather combat capability needed to perform a range of roles including combat search and rescue (CSAR), destruction of enemy air defense (DEAD) and counterinsurgency (CI).

The helicopter can also be deployed in high-altitude bunker-busting operations, counter-insurgency operations in jungles and urban environments as well as supporting ground forces.

The helicopter can also be used against slow moving aircraft and remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) of adversaries.

Officials said it would be a powerful platform to meet the operational needs of the IAF and the Indian Army.

They said state-of-the-art technologies and systems compatible with stealth features such as reduced visual, sound, radar and infrared signatures and crashworthiness features for better survivability have been integrated into the LCH for deployment. in combat roles.

Several key aircraft technologies like a glass cockpit and a composite airframe structure have been indigenized, they said.

The future mass production version will include other modern and native systems, they said.

Four LCH helicopters have already been accepted by the IAF. Officials said the IAF plans to procure more LCH in the near future.

“We are already working with DRDO and HAL to integrate new weapons on the helicopter,” said one of the officials.

The helicopter was tested under strict 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 LCHs largely for a combat role in the mountains.

(With PTI inputs)




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