The first squadron of the Indian Air Force’s indigenous Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), also known as Prachand, was raised, although it will take time for it to be fully operational because it now lacks its primary arsenal and protective systems.
Despite being integrated with air-to-air missile launchers, the attack helicopter, also known as the tank buster, won’t receive its anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) until mid-2023. The indigenous Helina, whose air force version is known as Dhruvastra, is the ATGM that is supposed to be merged with Prachand.
The Defence Research and Development Organization(DRDOHelina/Dhruvastra )’s is presently being tested, and will be integrated into the LCH by the middle of next year as part of a time-saving strategy.
Although the MBDA-produced Mistral 2 air-to-air missile launchers are fitted inside the helicopter, the missiles have not yet been ordered. Mistral can destroy airborne objects as far away as 6.5 kilometres with a minimum range of 500 metres.
A 20 mm nose gun and unguided 70 mm rockets are also included in the LCH’s arsenal. According to sources, work is still ongoing, but shortly armament systems will be incorporated. The 15 copters are the initial batch, they continued, and once the systems are in place, the orders will increase. The IAF will have a little less than the Army, which is expected to purchase around to 90 of them for its air arm to support ground operations.