Indian Airforce to Induct Light Combat Helicopters today

Light Combat Helicopter of HAL

Indian Air-Force is all set to officially induct the HAL made Light Combat Helicopter(s) today with an official ceremony on 11:00 AM today. The HAL Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) is an Indian multi-role attack helicopter designed and manufactured indigenous by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). 

First prototype test-flown in 2010

The LCH has been ordered both by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Army. Its flight ceiling is the highest among all attack helicopters, and could be easily told that the need for such an aircraft came after the Kargil war in 1999. Having a combat helicopters operating in such terrain and conditions were both of a challenge to design and manufacture, but the persistent engineers of HAL made it a reality.

LCH with unguided-missile pods

The LCH being developed from an earlier iteration of its predecessor Dhruv, another indigenous helicopter developed and manufactured by HAL. Dhruv was used as a starting point has been attributed for reducing significant cost of the development program of LCH. On 29 March 2010, the first LCH prototype performed its maiden flight, and an extensive test program involving a total of four prototypes, was conducted.

LCH in Camo flying over the Himalayas

These tests also lead to LCH gaining the distinction of being the first attack helicopter to land in Siachen (a glacier high up in the Himalayas), having repeatedly landed at several high altitude helipads, some of which being as high as 13,600 feet (4145 meters) to 15,800 feet (4815 meters). During mid-2016, the LCH was recognised as having completed its performance trials, paving way for the certification of its basic configuration.

On 26 August 2017, limited series production of the LCH was formally inaugurated and on 19 November 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally handed over the LCH to IAF Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, clearing way for full scale induction.

With induction of the modern LCH the defense powers, especially at the borders are going to be proven a great strength for India.

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