HAL’s rotary wing R&D centre designed the LCH, whereas the mission & combat system R&D centre (MCSRDC) designed the Hawk-I, in association with the aircraft division. The basic version of LCH has been cleared by CEMILAC.
The production of state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)-designed 5.8-tonne category light combat helicopter (LCH) was launched on Saturday by the defence minister Arun Jaitley in Bengaluru. He also dedicated HAL’s role changer design upgrade programme of Hawk-i (Hawk-India) to the nation. HAL’s rotary wing R&D centre designed the LCH, whereas the mission & combat system R&D centre (MCSRDC) designed the Hawk-I, in association with the aircraft division. The basic version of LCH has been cleared by CEMILAC. The DAC has accorded approval for procurement of 15 LCH from HAL under IDDM category. The first prototype had its inaugural flight in March 2010. HAL designed the twin engine LCH of the 5.8-tonne class, featuring narrow fuselage and tandem configuration for pilot and co-pilot/ weapon system operator. The helicopter has indigenous state-of-the-art technologies such as integrated dynamic system, bearing less tail rotor, anti-resonance vibration isolation system, crash worthy landing gear, smart glass cockpit, hinge less main rotor, armour protection and stealth features from visual, aural, radar and IR signatures. According to T Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL, “the LCH and Hawk-i would provide the country extra potential to have additional combat resource and the programmes are truly ‘Make in India’, capable of generating employment opportunities including the MSME & service sectors. These programmes ensure public-private industry participation.” Adding, “There will be a significant spin-off in the form of development of an ecosystem for manufacture and in meeting the objectives of the ‘Skill India’ initiative in aerospace and defence sectors.”