'Momentous occasion' for India's defence production: Rajnath Singh on induction of Light Combat Helicopter
Jodhpur, Oct 3: The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday inducted the first fleet of indigenously-built Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), which has been developed primarily for mountain warfare after a requirement for it was felt during the Kargil war in 1999. The fleet comprising four helicopters was inducted into the IAF at a ceremony at the Jodhpur Air Force Station in presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and other senior military officials.
In his address, Rajnath Singh described the induction of the indigenously-built LCH into the IAF as a "momentous occasion" for India's defence production.
"The induction of indigenously developed Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) will enhance our capability and will boost defence production. There could not have been a better timing for LCH induction than Navratri and in the land of warriors. The IAF has been playing an important role in protecting India's sovereignty and I am confident that its overall capability will enhance further following induction of LCH," Singh said in his address.
''Indian Air Force has played an important role in the nation's security. Whether it's internal threats or external war, IAF has always strengthened national security with their courage & bravery. The induction of indigenously developed LCH will increase the efficiency of IAF,'' Def Minister said.
''LCH is capable of dodging the enemy, carrying a variety of ammunition, and delivering it to the site quickly. LCH perfectly meets the needs of our armed forces in various terrains and it is an ideal platform for both our Army and Airforce,'' he said.
''For a long time, there was a need for attack helicopters & during the 1999 Kargil war, its need was felt seriously. The LCH is a result of research & development for two decades. And its induction into IAF is an important milestone in defence production,'' he underlined.
"We have been focusing on boosting the country's defence production following certain developments.... security of the country has been our foremost priority and it will remain so," he said.
''Recent Ukrainian conflict or earlier conflicts teach us that heavy weapon systems and platforms, which are unable to move rapidly across the battlefield, have low capability, and become easy targets for the enemy.
The defence minister also complimented the IAF for reposing confidence in indigenously developed platforms. ''The defence of the nation is our top priority, and we are fully committed to it. I can say with full confidence that in the coming time, India will be first whenever there is talk of superpowers including military power in the world,'' Singh said.
In March, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved the procurement of 15 indigenously developed Limited Series Production (LSP) LCH at a cost of Rs 3,887 crore. The defence ministry had said 10 helicopters would be for the IAF and five will be for the Indian Army. The induction of the chopper comes at a time India and China are locked in a military stand-off in certain friction points in eastern Ladakh.