IAF Inducts Made-in-India Light Combat Helicopter Which Makes Access to Siachen Possible

Induction ceremony of LCH ‘Prachanda’ in Jodhpur on Monday.  (Twitter/@rajnathsingh) - Sakshi Post

Jodhpur: To strengthen the country’s air and border security, the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday inducted the first fleet of indigenously-built Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). 

The fleet comprising four helicopters was inducted into the IAF at a ceremony at the Jodhpur Air Force Station in presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and other senior military officials. 

The Light Combat Helicopter was manufactured by the state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) has been named ‘Prachand’.

‘Prachand’ is a 5.8-tonne twin-engine gunship chopper and is armed with air-to-air missiles, 20 mm turret guns, rocket systems and other weapons. Since the biggest feature of the LCH is that it is lightweight, therefore, it can also fly at an altitude of 5,000 meters which means LCH will be able to access remote areas such as Siachen and Ladakh. 

The LCH has been developed primarily for mountain warfare, because during the Kargil war in 1999, the armed forces felt the need of a chopper which could fly at high altitudes. Since the Pakistan Army was sitting at a superior height and due to lack of LCH, it took some time for the Indian Army to win this war as they had to fight uphill. 

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‘Prachand’ is equipped with a Saab radar and laser warning system. It also has the Elbit Compass optoelectronic suite manufactured by Israel. 

(With PTI inputs)

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