IAF to formally induct indigenously-built Light Combat Helicopter tomorrow, all you need to know

Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. to be inducted in IAF was approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Cabinet Committee on Security in March, reports PTI.

IAF to formally induct indigenously-built Light Combat Helicopter tomorrow, all you need to know Image Source- Twitter

The Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) which is a multi-role vehicle that can fire a variety of missiles and other weapons, will be incorporated into service by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the first batch. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), a state-owned aerospace company, developed the LCH with high-altitude deployment in mind. 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 Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

They said that the 5.8-tonne twin-engine helicopter has already completed various weapons firing tests. In March, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved the procurement of 15 indigenously developed Limited Series Production (LSP) LCH at the cost of Rs 3,887 crore. The defence ministry said 10 helicopters would be for the IAF and five for the Indian Army.

Watch 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 capability, and crash-worthy landing gear for better survivability.

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Light Combat Helicopters (LCH): Qualities

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, and for supporting ground forces.

The helicopter can also be used against slow-moving aircraft and remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) of adversaries. Officials said it would be 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, aural, radar, and IR signatures and crashworthiness features for better survivability have been integrated into the LCH for deployment in combat roles.

They said several key aviation technologies like a glass cockpit and composite airframe structure had been indigenised. They said that the future series-production version would consist of further modern and indigenous systems. The IAF has already accepted four LCH helicopters. The officials said 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 has been tested under stringent operating conditions, including at sea level, in desert regions, and 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.

With inputs from PTI

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