India’s Firepower boosted: The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday inducted its first batch of locally-made Prachand Light Combat Helicopters (LCH), giving it a major boost in combat power.
Rajnath Singh, the defence minister, stated that the action will improve India’s capability and increase defence manufacturing as he was present at the induction ceremony of the Made-in-India helicopters at the Jodhpur Air Force station in Rajasthan.
Navratri in Rajasthan, the country of warriors, “could not have been a better moment for the induction of LCH,” he remarked.
The Cabinet Committee on Security, which is presided by by the Prime Minister, gave the go light to purchase 15 LCH Limited Series Production (LSP) for Rs 3,887 crore along with ancillary infrastructure worth Rs 377 crore in March of this year.
Ten of the 15 helicopters being purchased from the LSP will be used by the Indian Army and five by the IAF.
In the upcoming years, the IAF and Army are expected to need 160 LCHs. For use in the highlands, the Army alone intends to purchase 95 helicopters. The Army anticipates putting its first squadron of LCH helicopters into service the following month.
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The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) created and developed the LCH, a 5.5-ton class combat helicopter, in India. The LCH is capable of destroying enemy air defences and may also be used for counterinsurgency and search-and-rescue missions. It is powered by twin Shakti engines. Additionally, they may be used against specific aircraft and enemy remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs).
The very manoeuvrable helicopters are outfitted with air-to-air missiles, 70mm rocket systems, 20mm turret guns, and other stealthy weapons. For increased survivability, the helicopters also have armour protection, night assault capabilities, and crash-worthy landing gear.
According to sources, the helicopters now feature 45% indigenous content by value, with that percentage expected to rise to above 55% in the next model. India’s reliance on foreign combat helicopters will decrease as a result of being placed on the import prohibition list.
The choppers’ next iteration in series manufacturing will have the most recent homegrown systems.
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In all terrains also including high-altitude regions above 20,000 feet, the choppers may be used to engage. Enemy infantry soldiers, tanks, and bunkers also enhancing India’s capabilities along its border with China.
The choppers have already been used to fly through Ladakh and also over deserts, demonstrating their adaptability to any environment. 2020 saw the fly testing of two helicopters in eastern Ladakh, where there was a military stalemate with China.
Together with DRDO and HAL, efforts are being made to include additional armaments on the helicopter.