Home / News / India /  IAF inducts first made-in-India light combat helicopters

NEW DELHI : In a big boost to its combat prowess, the Indian Air Force formally inducted the first indigenously developed multirole light combat helicopters (LCH), named Prachand, into its fleet at its Jodhpur base in Rajasthan in the presence of Defence minister Rajnath Singh, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

These helicopters are capable of destruction of enemy air defence, performing counter-insurgency operations, combat search and rescue tasks.

Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari were also present at the induction ceremony in the 143 Helicopter Unit at the Jodhpur base. 

The defence minister also took a sortie in the helicopter after the induction.

Speaking at the induction ceremony, Rajnath Singh said, “For a long time, there was a need for attack helicopters and during the Kargil war, its need was felt seriously. The LCH is a result of research & development for two decades. And its induction into the IAF is an important milestone in defence production."

The defence minister noted that the LCH meets the requirements of modern warfare and necessary quality parameters under varied conditions of operations. It is capable of self-protection, of carrying a wide variety of ammunition, and delivering it to the field quickly. This versatile helicopter perfectly meets the needs of our armed forces in various terrains and as such LCH is an ideal platform for both our Army and Air Force, he added.

Rajnath Singh added that LCH was flying not only on the strength of its rotors, engines and blades, but also on the strength of penance, patience, dedication and patriotism of many scientists, engineers and others.

The minister also praised the role of IAF in meeting internal as well as external threats to the country since independence. He added that the induction of LCH, with its tremendous power and versatility, not only enhances the combat capabilities of IAF but is also a big step towards self-reliance in defense production, as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

The trust reposed and support extended by the IAF towards indigenous design & development is evident through the examples such as Marut, Light Combat Aircraft, Akash missile system, Advanced Light Helicopter and the Light Combat Helicopter.

“The induction of LCH underlines the fact that just as the country trusts the Indian Air Force, the IAF equally trusts the indigenous equipment," he added.

Naming LCH as “Prachanda", the defence minister said that its induction comes during the Amrit kal when the Nation is celebrating Azadi ka Amrit Mahostav and a pointer to the future when IAF will be the top most force in the world, as also making the country fully AtmaNirbhar in Defence production requirements. 

The LCH is the first indigenous Multi-Role Combat Helicopter designed and manufactured by HAL. It has potent ground attack and aerial combat capability. Inducted in IAF’s newly raised No. 143 Helicopter Unit, it is a testimony to India’s growing prowess in indigenous design, development & manufacturing and a significant milestone in the path towards ‘Atmanirbharta’ in Defence.

 The helicopter possesses modern stealth characteristics, robust armour protection and formidable night attack capability. Onboard advanced navigation system, guns tailored for close combat and potent air to air missiles make the LCH especially suited for the modern battlefield. Capable of operating from high altitude terrain and carrying out precision strike at high altitude targets, the helicopter is a formidable addition to IAF’s arsenal.

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