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Indian Army receives first Light Combat Helicopter; here's why LCH packs a punch

Highly manoeuvrable and agile, the LCH will significantly enhance combat capability. The LCH would be a potent platform to meet the operational requirements of Indian Air Force & Indian Army.

Indian Army receives first Light Combat Helicopter; here's why LCH packs a punch
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First Published Sep 29, 2022, 8:20 PM IST

Days ahead of the formal induction of the 10 Light Combat Helicopters into the Indian Air Force on October 3, the Indian Army received its first LCH from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in Bengaluru on September 29. The home-grown multi-role chopper was handed over to the Indian Army's Aviation wing Director General Lt Gen AK Suri. 

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"Indeginiously designed and developed Light Combat Helicopter has been inducted into Indian Army. The first LCH was formally handed over by HAL to Director General, Army Aviation Corps. Highly manoeuvrable and agile, the LCH will significantly enhance the combat capability," the Indian Army tweeted.

Why makes the Light Combat Helicopter lethal?

The IAF will induct the first batch of LCH in Jodhpur in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and IAF chief ACM VR Chaudhari on October 3. 

In March this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-headed Cabinet Committee on Security approved the procurement of 15 LCH at the cost of Rs 3,887 crore, along with infrastructure sanctions worth Rs 377 crore. Out of the 15 choppers, the IAF will get ten, and the balance five will go to the Indian Army. The 5.5-tonne class combat helicopter has 45 per cent of indigenous content by value, which will progressively increase to more than 55 per cent.

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This helicopter is equipped with requisite agility, manoeuvrability, extended range, high altitude performance and around-the-clock, all-weather combat capability to perform roles of Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Destruction of Enemy Air Defence (DEAD), Counter Insurgency (CI) operations, against slow-moving aircraft and Remotely Piloted Aircraft, high altitude bunker busting operations, Counter Insurgency operations in the jungle and urban environments and support to ground forces. The LCH would be a potent platform to meet the operational requirements of the Indian Air Force & Indian Army.

Several key aviation technologies like Glass Cockpit and composite airframe structure have been indigenised. 

The multi-role LCH can destroy enemy air defence and can also be deployed in combat search and rescue tasks and, most importantly, in counter-insurgency operations.

Two Shakti turboshaft engines have powered the combat chopper aimed to provide a maximum continuous power output of 1,067kW. It has come up with 20-mm turret guns mounted on its nose and can rotate 110 degrees.

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