Home / News / India /  Rajnath Singh takes sortie in Light Combat Helicopter ‘Prachand’ | Watch

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday took a sortie in Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) called "Prachand" at Jodhpur airbase in Rajasthan. The Indian Air Force (IAF) inducted the first fleet of indigenously-built LCH which have been developed primarily for mountain warfare after a requirement for it was felt during the Kargil war in 1999.

The 5.8-tonne twin-engine gunship chopper, armed with air-to-air missiles, 20 mm turret guns, rocket systems and other weapons, is developed by state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

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.

Military officials said that the LCH would be an effective platform for hitting enemy targets, tanks, bunkers, drones, and other assets in high-altitude regions.

Addressing the event, Singh described the induction of the indigenously-built LCH into the IAF as a "momentous occasion" for India's defense production.

"The IAF has been playing an important role in protecting the country's sovereignty. I am confident that its overall capability will enhance further following induction of LCH," the minister said in his address.

He also complimented the IAF for reposing confidence in indigenously developed platforms.

Speaking about his sortie in the Light Combat Helicopter, Singh said, “It was a smooth and comfortable flight in the indigenously built Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). It can fly in any terrain, weather, and altitude; it has the capability to attack. Our motto is - make in India, make for the world."

The induction of the chopper comes at a time India and China are locked in a  military stand-off in certain friction points in eastern Ladakh. The LCH has similarities with Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv. It has a number of stealth features, armoured-protection systems, night attack capability and crash-worthy landing gear for better survivability, officials told PTI. 

The LCH is equipped with requisite agility, manoeuvrability, extended range, high altitude performance and all-weather combat capability to perform a range of roles including combat search and rescue (CSAR), destruction of enemy air defence (DEAD) and counter-insurgency (CI) operations.

In February 2020, the LCH was declared ready for production. In March, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved the procurement of 15 indigenously developed Limited Series Production (LSP) LCH at a cost of 3,887 crore.

The defence ministry had said 10 helicopters would be for the IAF and five will be for the Indian Army.

The helicopter can also be deployed in high-altitude bunker-busting operations, counter-insurgency operations in the jungles and urban environments as well as for supporting ground forces. The helicopter can also be used against slow-moving aircraft and remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) of adversaries. Officials said it would be a potent platform to meet the operational requirements of the IAF and the Indian Army.


(With inputs from agencies)
















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