Air Force gets first made-in-India light combat helicopters today
The light combat helicopter weighs 5.8 tonne and has armour protection, night attack capability and crash-worthy landing gear for better survivability
India is set to witness the induction of the first made-in-India light combat helicopters on Monday in the Air Force with defence minister Rajnath Singh in attendance. The induction would be a “big boost” to IAF’s “combat prowess”, the defence minister said on Sunday ahead of his visit to Jodhpur in Rajasthan where the induction is set to take place.
“I would be in Jodhpur, Rajasthan tomorrow, 3rd October, to attend the Induction ceremony of the first indigenously developed Light Comat Helicopters (LCH). The induction of these helicopters will be a big boost to the IAF’s combat prowess. Looking forward to it,” Rajnath Singh’s tweet read. Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari will also be present at the event.
All-weather combat capability, high altitude performance, agility, maneuverability, and extended range are among some of the features of a light combat helicopter. Developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), these choppers are also said to have armour protection, night attack capability and crash-worthy landing gear for better survivability.
With the hashtag #AtmaNirbharBharat, which translates to “self-reliant India,” the Indian Air Force gave a glimpse of these choppers on its Twitter handle.
Earlier this year, in March, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved the procurement of 15 Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Limited Series Production at the cost of Rs. 3,887 Cr along with Infrastructure sanctions worth Rs. 377 Cr.
The 5.8-tonne twin-engine helicopter - to be inducted on Monday - has already completed various weapons firing tests, officials were quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Under the Atma Nirbhar Abhiyan, or Make-In-India initiative, India has been steadily focusing on increasing its capability to indigenously design, develop and manufacture advanced cutting edge technologies and systems in the defence sector, the government has said.
"Wonderful to bring in Durgashtami with these helicopters that will greatly boost our IAF’s combat abilities," union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat wrote in a tweet.