The Indian Army has inducted an indigenously developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) aimed at strengthening the troops’ combat capabilities.
The first LCH was handed over by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to Army Aviation director general lieutenant general AK Suri.
In a Twitter post, the Army’s Additional Directorate General of Public Information said: “Highly manoeuvrable & agile, #LCH will significantly enhance the combat capability.”
The latest induction follows a clearance granted by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to procure 15 LCH limited series production variants, along with infrastructure.
Quoting a defence official, the Hindu said: “It [Army Aviation] will receive the second LCH in October.”
Ahead of the induction, the Army raised its first LCH unit on 1 June 2022.
The unit will reportedly shift 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 comprising ten copters, will be deployed in mountainous terrains.
The 5.5-tonne class combat helicopter features armour protection, night attack capability, and crash-worthy landing gear, thereby offering better survivability.
The Indian Ministry of Defence said: “The helicopter is equipped with requisite agility, manoeuvrability, extended range, high altitude performance, and around-the-clock, all-weather combat capability.”
The helicopters are expected to bolster the capabilities of the Army in performing various roles including combat search and rescue, counter insurgency operations against slow moving aircraft, and remotely piloted aircraft.
In another development, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is preparing to receive ten LCHs next week.