The Indian Army has induced an indigenously developed light combat helicopter (LCH) aimed at strengthening the combat capabilities of troops.
The first LCH was transmitted by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to Director General of Army Aviation Lt Gen AK Suri.
In a Twitter post, the Army’s Additional Directorate General of Public Information said, “Extremely maneuverable and agile, the #LCH will significantly enhance combat capabilities.”
The latest induction follows a clearance given by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to purchase 15 limited series production variants of the LCH, along with infrastructure.
Quoting a defense official, the Hindu said, “It [Army Aviation] will receive the second LCH in October.”
Ahead of induction on June 1, 2022, the Army fielded its first LCH unit.
The unit will reportedly transfer to the Eastern Command along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) next year.
In total, the Army intends to procure 95 LCHs, of which seven units, each of ten helicopters, will be deployed in mountainous terrain.
The 5.5 ton class combat helicopter features armor protection, night attack capability and crash landing gear, thus offering better survivability.
Indian Ministry of Defence said: “The helicopter is equipped with the required agility, maneuverability, extended range, high altitude and 24/7 combat capability in all weather conditions.”
The helicopters are expected to strengthen the military’s capabilities to perform a variety of roles, including combat search and rescue, counterinsurgency operations against slow-moving aircraft and remotely piloted aircraft.
In another development, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to receive ten LCHs next week.