Light Combat Helicopter

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    The Indian Air Force (IAF) inducted its first batch of indigenously-developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) in a major boost to its combat prowess.

    • The helicopter will be called ‘Prachand’, which means fierce.

    About Light Combat Helicopter 

    • LCH has been developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).  
      • The first prototype of the helicopter took first flight on March 29, 2010 and has since undergone extensive testing and evaluation. 
    • It is a state-of-the-art modern combat helicopter, primarily designed for deployment in high-altitude regions. 
    • It is the only attack helicopter in the world which can land and take-off at an altitude of 5,000 m with a considerable load of weapons and fuel.
    • It has a range of 550 km and an operational ceiling of 6500 m.
    •   It is armed with air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, 70 mm rockets and a 20 mm gun.
    • Features: It is powered by two Shakti engines and is equipped with stealth features, all-weather combat capability, armour protection, night attack capability, and crash-worthy landing gear. 
      • The narrow fuselage with tandem cockpit configuration makes LCH extremely manoeuvrable and agile. 
      • Stealth features like low radar cross section and minimal infrared signature allow it to go behind enemy lines undetected and attack with precision.
      •  It boasts of a full glass cockpit, Electronic Warfare suite and helmet-mounted display for the flying crew.
      • It can perform a range of roles, including combat search and rescue, destruction of enemy air defence and counter-insurgency operations in the jungle and urban environments. 
    • Significance : The induction of LCH in the Indian Air Force is expected to provide further impetus to Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan. 

    Source:TH