Jodhpur: In a major boost to indigenisation of defence production, the Indian Air Force is all set to welcome the first batch of Made In India Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) in its inventory on Monday at a ceremony in presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari.
“I would be in Jodhpur, Rajasthan on 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,” said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in a tweet.
The Light Combat Helicopter has been developed by aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd primarily designed for deployment in high altitude regions.
The induction of these Made In India helicopters is being considered a big boost to the IAF’s combat prowess built indigenously. The LCH is a potent platform to meet the operational requirements of Indian Air Force.
The 5.5-tonne class combat helicopter is powered by two Shakti engines and inherits many technical features of the Advanced Light Helicopter.
The LCH has the distinction of being the first attach helicopter to land in Forward Bases at Siachen, 4,700 mts above sea level with 500kg load.
The Cabinet Committee on Security under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, in March this year, approved the procurement of 15 Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Limited Series Production (10 for IAF and 5 for Indian Army) at the cost of Rs 3,887 Cr along with Infrastructure sanctions worth Rs 377 Cr.
This helicopter is equipped with requisite agility, maneuverability, extended range, high altitude performance and around-the-clock, all-weather combat capability to perform roles of Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Destruction of Enemy Air Defence (DEAD), Counter Insurgency (CI) operations, against slow moving aircraft and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs), high altitude bunker busting operations, Counter Insurgency operations in jungle and urban environments and support to ground forces.
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 in LCH for deployment in combat roles catering to emerging needs for next 3 to 4 decades, the Defence Ministry said.
Production of LCH will reduce import dependence for Combat helicopters in the country. Light Combat Helicopters are already in the import embargo list. With its versatile features built in for combat missions, LCH also has export capability.