The MoD (Ministry of Defence) (1) has lately cleared the acquisition of HAL’s (Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd) HTT-40 primary trainer aircraft. A day after that, HAL announced that its light combat helicopter is also ready for combat deployment.
On Wednesday, HAL announced the deployment of two HAL-produced LCH in light of the prevailing situation on the Ladakh border. These LCHs are deployed for operations at higher altitudes in the Leh sector.
HAL: Their Light Combat Helicopter Meets the Unique and Specific Requirements of the Armed Forces
The company further stated that Marshal Harjit Singh Arora recently participated in the operation. For a simulated attack on a high-altitude target, he took off from a high-altitude location to a forward region. He later landed the chopper at one of the several treacherous helipads in the area.
R Madhavan, the chief of HAL, announced that the LCH is the lightest combat chopper in the world. It is designed and developed by HAL to meet the requirements of the armed forces. He stated that referring to the 5.8 ton, twin-pilot helicopter’s unique ability to operate at 20,000 ft altitudes. It is higher than any other combat helicopter globally. It has demonstrated skills to work at Siachen Glacier with combat loads like fuel and weaponry. It is safe to say that the HAL’s LCH can support the army at posts located at 16,000-17,000 ft altitude like Galwan and Daulat Beg Oldi, where the soldiers of India are braving the Chinese Intruders.
The LCH to Provide Priceless Fire Support to Infantrymen at High Altitudes
The hight altitude regions are oxygen-deprived, which makes soldiers unable to carry heavy weaponry for long distances. In those cases, a high-altitude attack chopper provides the armed forces with invaluable support. The LCH comes with 20 mm turret gun, 70 mm rockets along with air to air missile. It can also stock an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM)
The LCH has cutting-edge target sighting systems for firing accuracy. It also includes an electro-optic pod and mounted display helmet. It would allow the pilot to point at the target just by looking at it.
For battlefield survivability, the LCH is fitted with armored panels, self-sealing fuel tanks, a bulletproof windshield, damage-tolerant rotor blades. LCH’s main gearbox can run for 30 minutes, even if a bullet hits it and drains the oil. Along with all the features, LCH is also equipped with an electronic warfare system that can detect incoming missiles. It then scatters the flares chaff to confuse them.
The Indian Air Force and army together require 162 LCHs. They need 65 for IAF and 97 for the military. The Ministry of Defence has approved the construction for 15 choppers as an initial batch. The production is started for the helicopters at the Banglore facility, says the HAL officials.
A contract is to be placed shortly for 15 LCH, called as limited series production (LSP) order. IAF and army pilots will fly the helicopter to measure its performance and capability. Then they will provide feedback regarding operational performance. Along with that, they will also suggest improvements that HAL can include in the design of LCH. Once the procedure is completed, LCH will go for mass manufacturing as a final production line. It is expected that the procedure will take at least two more years.