The Indian Air Force will on Monday get the first batch of indigenously developed Light Combat Helicopter which is capable of firing a range of missiles and other weapons.
State-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) developed the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and they were primarily designed for deployment in high-altitude regions. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the induction of the new helicopters will be a "big boost" to the IAF's "combat prowess".
Here are the major highlights about the combat chopper
- 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
- State-of-the-art technologies and systems compatible with stealth features such as reduced visual, aural, radar and IR signatures and crashworthiness features for better survivability have been integrated into the LCH for deployment in combat roles
- Several key aviation technologies like a glass cockpit and composite airframe structure have been indigenized
- The future series-production version will consist of further modern and indigenous systems
- The helicopter has been tested under stringent operating conditions including at sea level, in desert regions and in Siachen
- The Army has a plan to acquire 95 LCH largely for a combat role in the mountains.
- The 5.8-tonne twin-engine helicopter has completed various weapons firing tests
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved the procurement of 15 indigenously developed Limited Series Production (LSP) LCH at a cost of Rs 3,887 crore.
- 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, armoured-protection systems, night attack capability and crash-worthy landing gear for better survivability