"This is the lightest helicopter in the world and reflects the role HAL plays in Atma Nirbhar Bharat”, the CMD of HAL R Madhavan says.
In view of the ongoing tensions between India and China along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided to deploy two Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) for operations at high altitude. These helicopters designed and developed by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to meet the unique demands of the Indian Armed forces will be supporting the IAF missions at short notice.
“This is the lightest helicopter in the world and reflects the role HAL plays in Atma Nirbhar Bharat”, the CMD of HAL R Madhavan says.
Recently, the Vice Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Harjit Singh Arora was part of an operation along with HAL test pilot, Wg Cdr (Retd), Subash P were for a simulated attack on a high altitude target, they took off from a high altitude location to a forward area. And this was followed by a landing at one of the most treacherous helipads in the region.
According to HAL, the LCH in that operation had successfully demonstrated its quick deployment ability to forward locations under extreme temperatures.
More about LCH
It has been designed and developed by Rotary Wing Research & Design Centre (RWRDC) of HAL.
This is considered to be a potent platform because of its state of the systems.
It has highly accurate weapons which have the capability to hit the target of any type in day/night.
Besides operating in different altitudes, this helicopter has the ability to operate in the complete ‘Area of Responsibility’ (AOR).
Under varied conditions and high altitudes the helicopter can carry adequate weapon load.
Because of these capabilities it is considered to be most suitable for high altitude operations.
What do the Indian Armed Forces need?
Combined –the IAF and the Indian Army have a requirement of around 160 LCHs.
Approval has already been given by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) for the proposal of the initial batch of 15 LCHs.
It may be recalled Request for Proposal (RFP) for 15 Limited Series Production (LSP) helicopter (10 for IAF and 5 for Army) had been issued by the IAF.
The state-owned company HAL has already submitted its response to that RFP.
So far, the technical evaluation and the price negotiations have been concluded.
While the order for the same is expected, at its facility in Bengaluru, the HAL, according to their official release have already started the production of LSPs in the anticipation of orders.
Financial Express Online had already reported that the Made in India LCH has the capability of carrying out successfully air to air missile firing on a moving aerial target. In a trial last year, it had fired Mistral-2 ATAM (Air to Air Mistral) from the MBDA.
Which other weapons are on LCH?
Financial Express Online had reported last year, that the other weapons which are included in the LCH are a 20mm Turret gun and 70 mm Rockets.
It comes equipped with Helmet mounted sight and a forward-looking infrared sighting system. What does it mean? It means that the LCH pilots will be able to detect and destroy any target in the air or on the ground.
Will also be able to launch a missile on to the target and that too without turning the helicopter.
The fire and forget missile has been found to be effective against all types of aerial threat. And this includes the UAVs and microlight aircraft.
Can fly at ultra-low heights and can be able to operate from different locations.
According to HAL, this is the only helicopter in the world which can operate at altitudes which are as high as Siachen Glacier (in the Karakoram mountain range of the Himalayas).