IAF to put into service formally built Light Combat Helicopter tomorrow, all you need to know


The Light Combat Helicopters (LCH), a multi-purpose vehicle capable of firing a variety of missiles and other weapons, will be commissioned in the first batch by the Indian Air Force (IAF). Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), a state-owned aerospace company, developed the LCH for high-altitude deployment. According to officials, it will be added to the IAF inventory at a ceremony in Jodhpur with the participation of Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.

They said the 5.8-ton twin-engine helicopter has already undergone several weapons tests. In March, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the procurement of 15 domestically developed Limited Series Production (LSP) LCH at a cost of Rs 3,887 crore. The Defense Ministry said ten helicopters would be for the IAF and five for the Indian army.

View IAF Light Combat Helicopters (LCH)

The LCH has similarities with Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv. Officials said it has several stealth armored protection systems, night attack capabilities and crash-worthy landing gear for better survivability.

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Light Combat Helicopters (LCH): Qualities

The LCH is equipped with the requisite agility, maneuverability, extended range, high altitude performance and combat capability in all weather conditions to perform a range of tasks including search and rescue (CSAR), enemy air defense destruction (DEAD) and combat of insurrection (CI) operations.

The helicopter can also be deployed in high-altitude bunker busting, counter-insurgency operations in jungle and urban environments, and to support ground forces.

The helicopter can also be used against slow-moving aircraft and remote-controlled aircraft (RPAs) of opponents. Officials said it would provide a powerful platform to meet the operational requirements of the IAF and the Indian Army.

They said state-of-the-art technologies and systems compatible with stealth features such as reduced visual, auditory, radar and IR signatures and crash-resistance features for enhanced survivability have been integrated into the LCH for deployment in combat roles.

They said several key aviation technologies, such as a glass cockpit and a composite airframe structure, were indigenous. They said the future series production version would consist of more modern and native systems. The IAF has already accepted four LCH helicopters. The officials said the IAF plans to purchase 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 has been tested under severe operating conditions, including at sea level, in desert areas and in Siachen. It was declared production ready in February 2020. The military has a plan to acquire 95 LCH, largely for a combat role in the mountains.

With inputs from PTI





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