The deployment of the LCHs, which are not fully weaponised yet, is a show of support for the indigenous choppe...Read More
NEW DELHI: India has deployed two of its new indigenous light combat helicopters, in addition to the heavy-duty Apache attack and Chinook heavy-lift choppers acquired from the US, in Ladakh amid the ongoing military confrontation with China there.
The deployment of the twin-engine LCHs, which are not fully weaponised yet, in the high-altitude region is a show of support for the indigenous choppers ahead of their proposed induction into the armed forces.
The initial order for 15 LCHs is likely to be placed on defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics before the end of this year, with the overall requirement of such 5.5-tonne class choppers by the IAF and Army pegged at 160 as of now.
“The LCH is the
lightest attack helicopter
in the world, designed and developed by HAL to meet specific and unique requirements of Indian armed forces. It reflects the crucial role of HAL in ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’,” said HAL chairman R Madhavan on Wednesday.
Such LCHs figure in the negative arms import list announced by the defence ministry on Sunday.
The Indian LCHs, which are currently equipped with 70mm rockets and chin-mounted cannons, do not yet have anti-tank and air-to-air missiles. The LCH has the distinction of being the first attack helicopter to land at forward bases in the Siachen Glacier-Saltoro Ridge region, 4,700 meters above sea level with a 500-kg load. IAF vice chief Air Marshal Harjit Singh Arora also flew in the LCH, which is powered by two Shakti engines, during his visit to forward air bases in Ladakh last week.