Rajnath takes sortie in Prachand, 1st made-in-India light combat chopper. Watch
Defence minister Rajnath Singh was handed over the first batch of LHCs by the HAL.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Monday took a sortie in 'Prachand', the country's first made-in-India light combat helicopter (LCH). The first batch of LCHs - manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) - has been inducted in the Air Force, in a step forward to the government's push for self reliance in the defence sector. The defence minister - during the induction in the presence of Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan and IAF chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari - hailed the handover of the indigenously built choppers as a "milestone".
"It was a smooth and comfortable flight in the indigenously built light combat helicopter (LCH). It can fly in any terrain, weather, and altitude; it has the capability to attack," the defence minister said after the sortie, underlining: "Our motto is - make in India, make for the world."
Further, he stressed: "There is no need to define ‘Prachand’, the LCH itself is capable of sending out a message to the enemy."
The chopper is capable "of dodging the enemy, carrying a variety of ammunition, and delivering it to the site quickly", the minister pointed out, stressing that it "perfectly meets the needs of our armed forces in various terrains and it is an ideal platform for both our the Army and the Air Force".
The chopper is a result of the research and development for two decades, he underlined.
In March, the Cabinet Committee on Security, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had cleared the purchase of 15 such helicopters for the air force and the army from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at a cost of ₹3,887 crore.
Of the initial 15 limited series production helicopters approved, 10 are for the IAF and five for the army. It can land and take-off from an altitude of 5,000 metres with weapons and fuel, the officials said.
(With inputs from ANI)