The 5.8-ton light combat helicopter is armoured, capable of night attacks, and has crash-worthy landing gear for increased survivability.
Rajnath Singh, India’s defence minister, will be present to witness the introduction of the country’s first light combat helicopters to the Air Force on Monday. The defence minister stated on Sunday that the induction would give a “huge boost” to the IAF’s “fighting prowess” before his trip to Jodhpur, Rajasthan, where the induction is scheduled to take place.
“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,” Rajnath Singh’s tweet read. Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari will also be present at the event.
One or more characteristics of a light combat helicopter include all-weather combat capability, high altitude performance, agility, manoeuvrability, and extended range. These helicopters were created by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), and other features claimed for improved survivability include armour protection, night assault capability, and crash-worthy landing gear.
The Indian Air Force tweeted a picture of these helicopters with the hashtag #AtmaNirbharBharat, which stands for “self-reliant India.”
In March of this year, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved the purchase of 15 Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) Limited Series Production for a price of Rs. 3,887 Cr., coupled with infrastructure sanctions of Rs. 377 Cr.
The 5.8-tonne twin-engine helicopter – to be inducted on Monday – has already completed various weapons firing tests, officials were quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Under the Atma Nirbhar Abhiyan, or Make-In-India initiative, India has been steadily focusing on increasing its capability to indigenously design, develop and manufacture advanced cutting edge technologies and systems in the defence sector, the government has said.
“Wonderful to bring in Durgashtami with these helicopters that will greatly boost our IAF’s combat abilities,” union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat wrote in a tweet.