The Indian Army inducted the indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Thursday, 29th September 2022. The first Light Combat Helicopter was handed over to the Army Aviation Corms by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
India is making significant progress in the development of defense products, and HAL is a key element of these amazing creations. Like the Light Combat Helicopter, it is an Indian-built helicopter that has broken numerous performance records.
On March 30, 2022, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) authorized the purchase of 15 Limited Series Production Light Combat Helicopters at a price of Rs. 3,887 crores. Out of these 15 choppers, the Indian Air Force will receive ten, and five will be inducted into the Indian Army.
After the 10 years of the program, the aircraft significantly received demand and was finally Inducted into the Indian army. The LCH is a multi-role combat helicopter designed and manufactured by HAL, which is made in HAL’s helicopter division in Bengaluru. The helicopter can carry rockets, air-to-air and anti-tank missiles, and bombs.
The combat helicopter contains approx. 45% indigenous content by value which will progressively increase to more than 55% for SP Version. State-of-the-art technologies and systems compatible with stealth features such as reduced Visual, Aural, Radar, and IR signatures and crashworthiness features for better survivability.
This helicopter will be operated in combination with the American AH-64 Apache helicopter, which is also employed by the Indian Air Force for various purposes. The LCH, however, performs better than the Apache in one category: range. It has 550 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 6,500 meters. The Apache can fly at a maximum height of 6,400 meters while having a range of only 480 kilometers.
The helicopter has the necessary agility, maneuverability, range extension, high elevation efficiency, and 24/7/365 all-weather fighting potential to carry out tasks like combat search and rescue (CSAR), destruction of enemy air defense (DEAD), counter-insurgency (CI), functions against slow-moving aircraft and remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs), high altitude bunker busting, counter-insurgency operations in the jungle and urban environments, and support to ground forces.
The production of LCH by HAL will give the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative more momentum and encourage the indigenization of defence production and the nation’s defence industry as part of the ongoing effort to achieve self-reliance in the defence manufacturing sector and reduce imports.
State of the art technologies and systems compatible with stealth features such as reduced Visual, Aural, Radar and IR signatures and crashworthiness features for better survivability have been integrated in LCH for deployment in combat roles catering to emerging needs for next 3 to 4 decades. Several key aviation technologies like Glass Cockpit and composite airframe structure have been indigenised. The future Series Production version will consist of further modern & indigenous systems.
The Indian Air Force will formally induct the indigenous LCH on 3rd October 2022 at the Jodhpur Air Force base in Rajasthan in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari.
The Additional Director General of the Public Information (ADG PI – Indian Army) shared the information in a tweet, which said, “Indigenously designed & developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) has been inducted into Indian Army. The first LCH was formally handed over by HAL to Director General, Army Aviation Cops. Highly maneuverable and agile LCH will significantly enhance combat capability