Stage is getting set for the formal induction of indigenous Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) in the Indian Air Force (IAF) next month. According to officials the helicopters will be inducted during a ceremony on October 3, 2022 at Jodhpur Air Base, Rajasthan.
These multi-role LCH are indigenously built by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and are capable of destroying enemy air defence and can also be deployed in combat search and rescue tasks as well as most importantly in counter insurgency operations.
The induction of these machines comes following the approval by the Cabinet Committee on Security, chaired by the Prime Minister, for procurement of 15 LCH Limited Series Production (LSP). These helicopters will come at a cost of Rs 3,887 crore and allied infrastructure worth Rs 377 crores.
Out of the 15 helicopters, the IAF will get 10 and the balance five will go to the Indian Army.
This will take place at Jodhpur Air Force Base which is closer to Pakistan. Present on the occasion will be defence minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari, and senior officers of the IAF as well as officers from HAL.
More about the Helicopter
This is a 5.5-tonne class combat helicopter which has been designed and developed by HAL. According to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) the LSP version comes with 45 percent indigenous content and this content is expected to touch 55 percent by the time the Series Production Version starts.
Two Shakti turboshaft engines will power the LCH and will provide a maximum continuous power output of 1,067kW.
It will come with 20-mm turret guns which are mounted on its nose and have the capability to rotate 110 degrees.
Financial Express Online has reported earlier in details about the features of this machine. Because of the tandem cockpit configuration for the pilot and co-pilot gunner, this bird has a narrow fuselage.
As reported earlier this machine comes with the state of the art stealth features due to its low frontal radar cross-sections. It has night attack capability, crash worthy landing gear for better survivability, and armour protection.
Also, the helicopter has bulletproof windshields, self-sealing fuel tanks, has built-in crashworthiness of crew seats, bottom structures, and fuel tanks.
This machine will be equipped with chaff dispensers, infrared suppression systems and flares.
Has extended range, high altitude performance, all weather combat capability, Destruction of Enemy Air Defence (DEAD), Counter Insurgency (CI) operations, maneuverability.
Helicopter-launched Nag missiles which are anti-tank guided missiles; and around four French MBDA Mistral short-range air-to-air missiles.
The automated cannon of this helicopter can fire 750 rounds per minute across a range of 2,000 metres.