The 5.8-ton light combat helicopter is armoured, capable of night strikes, and has crash-worthy landing gear for greater survivability.
India’s defence minister, Rajnath Singh, will be present to witness the introduction of the country’s initial light combat helicopters to the AF – Air Force on Monday. The defence minister stated on Sunday that the induction could give a “huge boost” to the IAF’s “fighting prowess” before his trip to Jodhpur, Rajasthan, wherein induction is scheduled to take place.
A light combat helicopter’s features include all-weather fighting capabilities, agility, high altitude performance, manoeuvrability, and extended range. These helicopters were created by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), and additional features claimed for improved survivability include armour protection, night assault capability, plus crash-worthy landing gear.
In March of this year, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) authorized the purchase of 15 Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) Limited Series Production for a price of Rs. 3,887 Cr., coupled with infrastructure sanctions of Rs. 377 Cr.
According to authorities quoted by the news agency, the 5.8-tonne twin-engine helicopter that will be inducted on Monday already has passed several weapons fire tests.
The Atma Nirbhar Abhiyan, or Make-In-India project, claims that India has been steadily focusing on improving its ability to domestically design, build, and create cutting-edge technologies and systems as in defence sector.
A KEY MILESTONE IN DEFENCE PRODUCTION
Rajnath Singh remarked during the induction ceremony, “For a long time, there was a need for attack helicopters and during the 1999 Kargil war, its need was felt seriously. The LCH is a result of research & development for two decades. And its induction into the IAF is an important milestone in defence production.”
He added, “LCH is capable of dodging the enemy, carrying a variety of ammunition, and delivering it to the site quickly. LCH perfectly meets the needs of our armed forces in various terrains and it is an ideal platform for both our Army and Airforce.”
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited produces the light combat helicopter, an exclusive combat helicopter that was conceived and produced in India (HAL).
As per HAL, the light combat helicopter satisfies the unique needs of the Indian Armed Forces by being the only attack helicopter in the world which can take off and land at an elevation of 5,000 metres (16400 feet) while carrying a sizable load of fuel or weapons.
The helicopter has all the necessary agility, range extension, manoeuvrability, high altitude performance, plus 24/7/365 all-weather combat capabilities. The Indian Air Force and Army might use it as a powerful platform to suit their operational needs.
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), which is chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, authorised the purchase of 15 locally developed Limited Series Production (LSP) LCH in March for a total of Rs 3,887 crore. Ten helicopters will be given to the Indian Air Force and five to the Indian Army, according to the defence ministry.
The helicopter has been put through rigorous operational testing in places like the desert, Siachen, and sea level.
- The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), created by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), a state-owned aerospace company, was primarily intended for use in high-altitude environments. At an event in Jodhpur, this was admitted into the IAF in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari.
- The name of the helicopter—currently known as the LCH—will likely be revealed by the defence minister. Then he is supposed to fly one of the choppers on a sortie.
- The Indian Army as well as Indian Air Force’s attack helicopter formations would be built on the light combat helicopter during the subsequent years. The 5.8-ton, twin-engine helicopter has successfully passed several weapon fire tests, according to the officials.
- Although we also have the American Apache helicopter, which is bigger and probably more competent, this one serves a particular purpose, especially during missions at extremely high altitudes where it can transport a substantial payload. The chopper’s design is wholly indigenous to India. The Indian integration is complete.
- Over Ladakh, the helicopter has been tested. It has air-to-air missiles that can destroy Chinese drones. Employing air-to-surface anti-tank weapons, it can even destroy tanks that are on the ground.
- To the Indian Army will go 95 of these helicopters. A few others have already enlisted. Around 65 will also join the Indian Air Force. The initial allocation for the Indian Air Force was more than 3,500 crores, making this a tremendously expensive undertaking. As approval is granted, the price will gradually be updated. As future versions of this helicopter are created, that sanction will be granted over time.
- The LCH and the Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv are comparable. According to the officials, it boasts several stealth characteristics, armoured protection systems, night assault capability, as well as crash-worthy landing gear for improved survivability. It has the necessary agility, extended range, manoeuvrability, high altitude performance, as well as all combat capacity to carry out a variety of tasks, including the destruction of enemy air defence (DEAD), counter-insurgency (CI), as well as combat search and rescue (CSAR) operations.
- The helicopter can be utilized to support ground forces, conduct high-altitude bunker-busting operations, and conduct counterinsurgency operations in urban and jungle areas.
- The helicopter may also be used to take out enemy remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) and stationary aircraft. According to officials, it will be a powerful platform to satisfy the operational needs of the Indian Army and IAF. According to them, the LCH has been combined with cutting-edge technologies and systems that are compatible with stealth features including reduced visual, radar, aural, and IR signatures and crashworthiness characteristics for greater survivability for use in combat missions.
The initial batch of locally produced light combat helicopters was delivered to the Indian Air Force on Monday. Today in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, the induction ceremony for the first light combat helicopter (LCH) built domestically was attended by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.