Indian Air Force to induct light combat helicopters in Jodhpur on October 3

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In a major boost to ‘Make in India’ in defence sector, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is going to induct the indigenous light combat helicopter (LCH) at Jodhpur on October 3.

According to ANI, In a major boost to ‘Make in India’ in defence, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is going to induct the indigenous light combat helicopter (LCH) at Jodhpur on October 3.

The new chopper getting inducted into the force is capable of aerial combat and will help the force combat slow-moving aircraft, drones and armoured columns during conflicts.

The induction ceremony will be led by Defence minister Rajnath Singh who has played a crucial role in progressing cases for buying indigenous platforms for forces.

He was also present in the Cabinet Committee on Security which cleared the purchase of 15 of these LCHs for the air force and the army.

Of the 15 limited series production helicopters approved, 10 are for the IAF and five for the army. It can land and take off from an altitude of 5,000 metres with weapons and fuel, the officials said.

The choppers have been flown extensively in Ladakh and the desert sector to meet the requirements of the armed forces.

The IAF has inducted multiple helicopters to its fleet in the last three-four years with the induction of the Chinooks, Apache attack helicopters and now the LCHs.

The IAF is now also deploying women pilots in Chinook choppers carrying routine supply missions to the northern and eastern borders.

About the Light Combat Helicopter

The HAL Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) is an Indian multi-role attack helicopter designed and manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The LCH has been ordered by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Army. Its flight ceiling is the highest among all attack helicopters.

The HAL Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) is a multirole combat helicopter, designed to perform various attack profiles, including relatively high altitude flight. The design and development of the LCH was done in-house, by the Rotary Wing Research and Design Centre (RWR&DC), an internal design office of HAL dedicated to the design of helicopters.

Equipped with a two-person tandem cockpit to accommodate a pilot and co-pilot/gunner, it has been developed to perform both the anti-infantry and anti-armour missions. In addition to these roles, the LCH is intended to be used for a variety of operational purposes, such as to perform air defence against slow-moving aerial targets, including both manned aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), participation in counter-insurgency operations (COIN) and Counter Surface Force Operations (CSFO), the destruction of enemy air defence operations and wider offensive use during urban warfare conditions, escort to special heliborne operations (SHBO), support of combat search and rescue (CSAR) operations, and armed aerial scouting duties.

In terms of its basic configuration, the LCH possesses a relatively narrow fuselage and is equipped with stealth profiling, armour protection, and is equipped to conduct day-and-night combat operations. According to reports, the protective measures included in the rotorcraft includes a digital camouflage system, an infrared (IR) suppressor fitted to the engine exhaust, and an exterior covered by canted flat panels to minimise its radar cross-section (RCS). It is furnished with an integrated dynamic system, including a hingeless main rotor and bearing-less tail rotor, which works in conjunction with an anti-resonance isolation system to dampen vibrations. During Aero India 2011, HAL’s Rotary Wing Research & Design Centre informed the press that the LCH is “probably the most agile design in the world because of its rotor”.

The LCH had inherited many of its technical features from one of HAL’s earlier indigenous rotorcraft, commonly known as the HAL Dhruv. Shared elements between the two helicopters include the power-plant used, both being powered by a pair of co-developed HAL/Turbomeca Shakti-1H1 derived from Safran Ardiden turboshaft engines, albeit fitted with infrared suppressors. The features that are unique to the rotorcraft includes its narrow fuselage, a crashworthy tricycle landing gear arrangement, crashworthy self-sealing fuel tanks, armour protection, and a low visibility profile; these design elements have been attributed as having resulted in a relatively lethal, agile and survivable rotorcraft.

Atypically for a combat helicopter, it shall also be capable of high-altitude warfare (HAW), possessing an in-service operational ceiling of 6,000–6,500 metres (19,700–21,300 ft).

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