The Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat, flew the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) during the ongoing Aero India at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, here today. The helicopter was piloted by Wg Cdr S John, HAL’s Test Pilot.
Terming the sortie in LCH as an experience of life time, he said it is suitable for the Army to take on adversaries in any terrain and different altitudes. R. Madhavan, CMD, HAL, G.V.S Bhaskar, CEO (Helicopter Complex), Wg Cdr, Unni Pillai, HAL’s Chief Test Pilot (Rotary Wing) and other senior officials from Army had a briefing session before the sortie.
LCH is a 5.5-ton class, combat helicopter designed and developed by HAL. It is powered by two Shakti engines and inherits many technical features of the Advanced Light Helicopter. The features that are unique to LCH are sleek and narrow fuselage, tri-cycle crashworthy landing gear, crashworthy and self-sealing fuel tanks, armor protection and low visibility features which makes it agile and survivable.
The helicopter would have day/night targeting systems for the crew including the Helmet pointed sight and Electro-optical pod consisting of CCD camera/FLIR/Laser Range Finder(LRF)/Laser Designator(LD). The LCH is fitted with Self Protection Suite consisting of Radar/Laser Missile warning systems and Countermeasures dispensing system. LCH received Initial Operation Clearance (IOC) on August 26, 2017, in the presence of the Defence Minister.
LCH has the distinction of being the first attack helicopter to land in Forward Bases at Siachen, 4700 mts above sea level. RFQ for 15 Limited Series Production (LSP) was received on December 22, 2017, and quotation has been submitted on March 15, 2018.