The Indian Air Force (IAF) will formally induct on Monday the first batch of indigenously-developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), which will be, defence minister Rajnath Singh said, a “big boost” to the IAF’s “combat prowess”.
The combat helicopter, developed by state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), has been primarily designed for deployment in high-altitude regions.
“I would be in Jodhpur, Rajasthan tomorrow, 3rd October, to attend the Induction ceremony of the first indigenously developed Light Comat Helicopters (LCH). The induction of these helicopters will be a big boost to the IAF’s combat prowess. Looking forward to it,” Singh tweeted.
Along with, Singh, chief of Air Staff Air chief marshal VR Chaudhari will also attend the event, reported news agency PTI.
In March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had approved the procurement of 15 indigenously developed Limited Series Production (LSP) LCH at a cost of ₹3,887 crore.
Things to know about Light Combat Helicopter
> The 5.8-tonne twin-engine helicopter has already completed various weapons firing tests.
> The defence ministry had said 10 helicopters would be for the IAF and five will be 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, officials said.
> 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 indigenised.
> Four LCH helicopters have already been accepted by the IAF. The officials said IAF plans to procure more LCH in the near future.
> The army has a plan to acquire 95 LCH largely for a combat role in the mountains.
(With inputs from PTI)