Indigenously-built light combat helicopter (LCH) ‘Prachand’ was inducted into the Indian Air Force at Jodhpur airbase. The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), developed by state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), has been primarily designed for deployment in high-altitude regions. It was inducted into the IAF at a ceremony in Jodhpur in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari.
The LCH is a multi-role combat helicopter designed and manufactured by HAL, which is made in HAL’s helicopter division in Bengaluru. The helicopter can carry rockets, air-to-air and anti-tank missiles, and bombs.
The helicopter has the necessary agility, manoeuvrability, range extension, high elevation efficiency, and 24/7/365 all-weather fighting potential to carry out tasks like combat search and rescue (CSAR), destruction of enemy air defence (DEAD), counter-insurgency (CI), functions against slow-moving aircraft and remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs), high altitude bunker busting, counter-insurgency operations in the jungle and urban environments, and support to ground forces.
The production of LCH by HAL will give the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative more momentum and encourage the indigenization of defence production and the nation’s defence industry as part of the ongoing effort to achieve self-reliance in the defence manufacturing sector and reduce imports.