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Prachand, First 'made-in-India' light combat helicopter inducted into IAF | VIDEO

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New Delhi, Oct 03: The first batch of indigenously-developed Light Combat Helicopters (LCH), named LCH Prachand, was inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday, at a ceremony in Jodhpur in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari.

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    Developed by the state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the 5.8-tonne twin-engine gunship chopper is armed with air-to-air missiles, 20 mm turret guns, rocket systems and other weapons.

    ''Our helicopter crew showed courage during HADR, the helicopter fleet are first to go for indigenization... The induction of LCH provides a unique capability. The helicopter has proved itself in the Himalayan region as well,'' IAF chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said.

    ''LCH (Light Combat Helicopter) is indigenous & state-of-the-art, one of the best combat flying machines in world. LCH is the only attack helicopter in the world that can land &take off at an altitude of 5,000 metres,'' CB Ananthakrishnan, CMD, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited said.

    Before the induction of of the first indigenously developed Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) into the Indian Air Force, a 'sarv-dharam' prayer was being performed in the presence of Defence minister Rajnath Singh and IAF chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari.

    The induction of the helicopters would be a big boost to IAF's combat prowess, the defence minister said.

    Taking to his Twitter handle, Rajnath Singh said,''I would be in Jodhpur, Rajasthan tomorrow, 3rd October, to attend the Induction ceremony of the first indigenously developed Light Comat Helicopters (LCH). The induction of these helicopters will be a big boost to the IAF's combat prowess. Looking forward to it.''

    The light combat helicopter is a dedicated combat helicopter designed and developed indigenously in India. It has been manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

    Aatmanirbhar Bharat: Make in India, Make for the World, says Rajnath SinghAatmanirbhar Bharat: Make in India, Make for the World, says Rajnath Singh

    According to the HAL, the light combat helicopter has maximum possible commonality with Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). LCH with a narrow fuselage has pilot and co-pilot/gunner in tandem configuration incorporating a number of stealth features, Armour protection, Night attack capability and crash worthy landing gear for better survivability.

    Earlier this year, in March, the prime minister-led Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had approved the procurement of 15 indigenously developed Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) at a cost of Rs 3,887 crore.

    Light Combat Helicopter Limited Series Production (LSP) is an indigenously designed, developed and manufactured state-of-the-art modern combat helicopter containing approximately 45 per cent indigenous content by value which will progressively increase to more than 55 per cent for SP Version.

    This helicopter is equipped with requisite agility, maneuverability, extended range, high altitude performance and around-the-clock, all-weather combat capability to perform roles of Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Destruction of Enemy Air Defence (DEAD), Counter Insurgency (CI) operations, against slow moving aircraft and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs), high altitude bunker busting operations, Counter Insurgency operations in jungle and urban environments and support to ground forces and would be a potent platform to meet the operational requirements of Indian Air Force & Indian Army.

    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 air-frame structure have been indigenised. The future Series Production version will consist of further modern and indigenous systems.

    The manufacturing of LCH by HAL will give a further push to Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative and boost indigenisation of defence production and the defence industry in the country. Production of LCH will reduce import dependence for combat helicopters in the country.

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