The Indian Army formally inducted the indigenous Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). The first LCH was formally received by Director General Army Aviation Lt Gen A. K. Suri from HAL in Bengaluru.
First LCH Unit
Army Aviation received one LCH and It has received the second LCH in October. The Army raised its first LCH Unit on June 01, 2022, in Bengaluru to prepare for the induction. The Unit will move to the Eastern Command along the LAC on completion next year.
The Army plans to acquire 95 LCH of which seven units, each having 10 helicopters, are to be deployed for combat role in mountains.
The Indian Air Force has formally inducted 10 LCH in Jodhpur at the occasion of Air Force Day
The LCH Deal
In March 2022, the CCS approved the procurement of 15 Limited Series Production variants of the LCH at a cost of ₹3,887 crores along with infrastructure sanctions worth ₹377 crores. Of the 15 helicopters, 10 are for the IAF and five for the Army.
Specifications of LCH
The helicopter is equipped with requisite agility, manoeuvrability, extended range, high altitude performance and around-the-clock, all-weather combat capability to perform roles of Combat Search and Rescue, Destruction of Enemy Air Defence, Counter Insurgency operations.
To satisfy the IAF’s need for a specifically designed light helicopter for combat missions, the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) was suggested. The most probable similarities exist between LCH and ALH. The LCH includes a small fuselage, a tandem arrangement for the pilot and co-pilot/gunner, as well as several stealth characteristics, armour protection, night assault capability, and crash-worthy landing gear for increased survivability.
In continuous pursuit of self-reliance in defence manufacturing and to minimise imports by DPSUs under ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, the manufacturing of LCH by HAL will give a further push to Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative and boost indigenisation of defence production and the defence industry.
The LCH Patch
Major Features of LCH
The major features of LCH are:
- Glass Cockpit
- Crashworthy bottom structure
- Crashworthy fixed tricycle type with tail wheel landing gear
- Canted flat panels for low Radar Cross Section
- Integrated Dynamic System
- Hinge less Main Rotor / Bearing less Tail Rotor
- Anti-Resonance Isolation System
- Integrated Architecture and Display System (IADS)
- IR Suppressor
- Counter Measuring Dispensing System (CMDS)
- EO pod, Helmet Mounted Display System & EW suite
- 20mm Gun, 70mm Rocket & Missiles
- Air to Air Missiles (ATAM)
- Air to Ground Missiles (ATGM)
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
India’s Light Combat Helicopter has been officially named?
The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri handed over the first LCH Prachand to the IAF today at AF Stn Jodhpur. He also undertook a sortie on the Prachand, which is translated as ‘Fierce’. The aircraft’s name is a testimony to its lethality & versatility.
What does LCH stand for?
LCH Stands for Light Combat Helicopter
What Is Light Combat Helicopter (LCH)?
The HAL Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) is an Indian multi-role attack helicopter designed and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
What are the special features of the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH)?
This helicopter is equipped with requisite agility, maneuverability, extended range, high altitude performance, and around-the-clock, all-weather combat capability to perform the roles of Combat Search and Rescue, Destruction of Enemy Air Defence, and Counter Insurgency operations.
The IAF First LCH Squadron was formally inducted at?
The Indian Air Force (IAF) formally inducted the indigenous light combat helicopter (LCH) at the Jodhpur air force station on October 3.
What are the other Attack Helicopters Operated By IAF?
The IAF operates the older Russian Mi-25 and Mi-35 attack helicopters, of which one squadron has been phased out following the induction of 22 Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters.
How many LCHs did IAF have inducted?
Of the initial 15 limited series production helicopters approved, 10 are for the IAF and 5 for the army. The chopper can land and take off from an altitude of 5,000 metre with weapons and fuel. HAL expects follow-on orders as IAF, and the army are projected to have a combined requirement of 160 LCHs.