Indian Air Force set to induct made-in-India helicopters
One of the unique features of the Light Combat Helicopter is its operating ceiling of 21,300 feet. This makes it suitable for operating at high altitudes in the Himalayas.
Indian Airforce is all set to induct the first batch of the indigenously developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). This helicopter will join the existing fleet of Apache and Chinook helicopters. The first LCH squadron will be raised at Jodhpur today.
The LCH was developed in-house, by the Rotary Wing Research and Design Centre (RWR&DC), an internal design office of HAL dedicated to the design of helicopters. The helicopter features a 2-person tandem cockpit for the pilot and the co-pilot / gunner. It measures 15.8 m in length, 4.7 m in height and has a wingspan of 4.6 m. It is powered by twin Shakti engines each rated at 1,383.9 BHP. These engines have been developed jointly with French engine maker Safran.
One of the unique features of the Light Combat Helicopter is its operating ceiling of 21,300 feet. This makes it suitable for operating at high altitudes in the Himalayas. The LCH has the distinction of being the first attack helicopter to land at Siachen, with helipads located at heights of 13,600-15,800 feet.
The LCH has a maximum speed of 268 km/h and a range of 550 km (with armaments) with an endurance of 3 hours 10 minutes. The helicopter has a 120 mm M261 cannon along with the provision of 4 hardpoints to carry a combination of rockets, missiles and bombs.
Apart from the Air Force, the Indian Army will also be inducting the LCH for the newly raised Army Aviation Corps based out of Bangalore.
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