Air Force formally inducts 'Prachand,' first made-in-India light combat helicopters
The Indian Air Force (IAF) formally inducted the first indigenously developed light combat helicopters (LCHs), named Prachand, in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, on Monday. The helicopters would provide a boost to India's combat prowess, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh earlier said on Sunday. Singh was present at the induction ceremony along with Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari. Here's more.
The induction took place in Jodhpur at 11 am
#AtmaNirbharBharat#IAF will formally welcome the Light Combat Helicopter on 03 October 2022.— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) October 2, 2022
Watch the induction ceremony LIVE here on our handle, DD National and DD Rajasthan YouTube channels from 1100 Hr onwards. pic.twitter.com/qSWHjXqZIB
All-weather combat, armor protection, night attack capability
Developed by the government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the twin-engine powered Prachand LCH weighs 5.8 tons and is equipped with armor protection, night attack capability, and crash-worthy landing gear for better survivability. It is also said to have all-weather combat capability, high altitude performance, agility, extended range, and maneuverability. The choppers earlier cleared various weapons firing tests, reported PTI.
Procurement approved for Rs. 3,887 crore
Earlier in March this year, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had given the go-ahead for the procurement of 15 Limited Series Production (LSP) LCHs costing Rs. 3,887 crore, along with Rs. 377 crore-worth infrastructure sanctions. The Defence Ministry said that 10 helicopters would be inducted into the IAF and five into the Army.
Defence minister announced the induction a day ago
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. pic.twitter.com/L3nTfkJx5A— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) October 2, 2022
Only attack helicopter to land, take off at 5,000m altitude
HAL said the made-in-India LCH is the only attack helicopter in the world capable of taking off and landing at an altitude of 5,000 meters while carrying a considerable load of weapons and fuel. Notably, this LCH has many similarities with the Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv. It can perform combat search and rescue (CSAR), destruction of enemy air defense (DEAD), and counter-insurgency (CI) operations.
Built with public and private sector participation
The IAF already accepted four such LCHs in November last year, while the Indian Army plans to procure 95 such helicopters, mostly for combat in the mountains. This LCH was produced in tandem with the public and private sectors, reported India Today. Over 250 vendors are involved in manufacturing components, assembly, tools and test equipment, and technical documentation, besides 70 vendors working on indigenization.