Prachand Light Combat Helicopter: In a major boost to its combat prowess, the Indian Air Force on Monday inducted the first batch of indigenously developed light combat helicopters, named Prachanda, which are capable of firing a range of missiles and other weapons.
Speaking at the event, Rajnath Singh said, “This is a momentous occasion that shows India’s potential in defense production.”
The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), developed by state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), is primarily designed for deployment in high altitude areas. It was inducted into the Indian Air Force at a ceremony in Jodhpur in the presence of Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal VR Choudhary.
The Defense Minister revealed that the helicopter has been named “Prachanda”.
Over the next several years the Light Combat Helicopter would be the basis of attack helicopter formations in the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force. Officials said the 5.8-tonne twin-engined helicopter has already completed firing trials from various weapons.
While we also have the American Apache helicopter, which is bigger and probably more capable, it fulfills a specific role, especially in very high altitude operations where it can carry a significant payload. The design of the helicopter is completely Indian. Integration is Indian, and it fulfills an Indian need.
The Prachand Light Combat Helicopter has been tested over Ladakh. It can shoot down Chinese drones with air-to-air missiles. It can also remove tanks on the ground using air-to-surface anti-tank munitions.
Of these, 95 helicopters will go to the Indian Army. A handful have already entered service. Around 65 will also go to the Indian Air Force. A very expensive project, the initial allocation for the Indian Air Force was above ₹3,500 crore. Once approved, the price will be progressively revised. This approval will be given over time as new avatars of this helicopter are being developed.
The LCH has similarities with the Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv. It has multiple stealth features, armored-protection system, night attack capability and crash-worthy landing gear for better survivability, officials said. It has the requisite agility, maneuverability, extended range, high altitude performance and all-weather combat capability to perform multiple roles including combat search and rescue (CSAR), destroy enemy air defense (DEAD) and counter-terrorism (CI). Equipped with. ) Operation.
The Prachand Light Combat Helicopter can be deployed for high-altitude bunker-busting operations, counter-insurgency operations in jungles and urban environments, as well as supporting ground forces.
Helicopters can also be used against slow-moving aircraft and opponents’ Remotely Moving Aircraft (RPA). Officials said it will be a powerful platform to meet the operational requirements of the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army. He added that state-of-the-art technologies and systems have been integrated into the LCH for deployment in roles compatible with stealth features such as low visual, aural, radar and IR signatures and crashworthiness features for better survivability.
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