IAF to kick off induction of indigenous light combat helicopter next month | India News

NEW DELHI: IAF will enter service with the first indigenous light combat helicopter (LCH), capable of conducting offensive operations in the Siachen Glacier-Saltoro Ridge and eastern Ladakh, at Jodhpur Air Base with presence of the Minister of Defense. Rajnath Singh on October 3.
The phased induction of these 5.8-ton helicopters, equipped with 20mm turret turrets, 70mm missile systems and air-to-air missiles, will enhance the IAF’s capabilities against ground troops Enemy troops, tanks, bunkers and UAVs (drones) at high altitude. – high altitude areas as well as in other terrains.

The two LCHs, incidentally, were flight-rated east of Ladakh in 2020 amid the still-ongoing military confrontation with China there. One officer said: “It was during the Kargil conflict with Pakistan in 1999 that the need for a locally developed armed helicopter with high flying capabilities was first felt acutely. .
IAF and Army requires an estimated 160 LCH in the coming years. The Cabinet Committee on Security cleared the first contract for 15 LCHs (10 IAF and 5 Army), with an overall cost of Rs. 3,887 crore, along with infrastructure sanctions worth 377 crore, in March of this year.

Defense PSU Hindustan Aeronautics has produced eight of the 15 helicopters to date, of which four have been “approved” by the IAF. These LCHs have 45% native content by value, which will gradually increase to more than 55% for the next release, an official said.
The LCH is touted as the only attack helicopter in its weight class in the world that can land and take off at 5,000 meters or 16,400 feet with a significant amount of weapons and fuel.

Powered by two Shakti engines, developed by the French Safran Group, the highly agile and controllable LCHs have advanced features such as helmet-mounted viewfinders, glass cockpits and frames. composite aircraft, and at the same time capable of operating around the clock in all weather conditions.
“The LCHs also have enhanced survivability through lightweight armor plates against 7.62mm and 12.7mm rounds, self-sealing fuel tanks, damage-resistant main rotors, windscreens bulletproof and low forward radar cross section,” the official said.
“Furthermore, the LCHs have integrated crash protection of the landing gear, bottom structure, crew seats and fuel tanks. For self-protection, the helicopters have infrared suppression systems, electronic warfare capabilities, and flares and flare dispensers,” he added.
Of course, the IAF has already equipped 22 Apache heavy attack helicopters, armed with Hellfire and Stinger missiles and other weapons, under the Rs 13,952 deal signed with the US in September 2015.
The IAF is also integrating the Russian-made Mi-17 V5 armed helicopter with the Israeli Spike NLOS anti-tank missile that can destroy ground targets about 30 km away. The IAF and Army also have weaponized versions of the indigenous Dhruv advanced light helicopter known as the Rudra.

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