India Shows Off First Home-Made Attack Helicopters “Prachand”

Current Affairs

  • In a big boost to Aatmanirbharatha in Defence, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh today presided over the formal induction of Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), into the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Jodhpur.
  • Naming LCH as “Prachanda”, Raksha Mantri said that its induction comes during the Amrit kal when the Nation is celebrating Azadi ka Amrit Mahostav and a pointer to the future when IAF will be the top most force in the world, as also making the country fully AtmaNirbhar in Defence production requirements. Raksha Mantri also took a sortie onboard the LCH shortly after its induction into IAF.
  • Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Anil Chauhan, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhary, Air Marshal Vikram Singh Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South Western Air Command, Chairman and Managing Director of HAL Shri C.B. Ananthakrishnan, senior officials of Ministry of Defence, IAF and local dignitaries were present on the occasion. 
  • The light combat helicopter over the next several years will be the bedrock of attack helicopter formations in the Indian Army and in the Indian Air Force. The 5.8-tonne twin-engine helicopter has already completed various weapons firing tests.
  • While we have the American Apache chopper as well, which is larger than this and perhaps more capable, this fulfils a specific role, particularly in very high altitude operations where it can carry a significant payload. The design of the chopper is entirely Indian. The integration is Indian, and it fulfils an Indian requirement. 
  • The chopper has been tested over Ladakh. It can take out Chinese drones with air-to-air missiles. It can also take out tanks on the ground using air to surface anti tank munitions.
  • 95 of these choppers will go to the Indian Army. A handful has already entered the service. Approximately 65 will go to the Indian Air Force as well. A very expensive project, the initial allotment for the Indian Air Force was upwards of ₹ 3,500 crore. The price will be progressively revised as sanction is received. That sanction will be given over a period of time as newer avatars of this helicopter are produced.
  • The helicopter can also be deployed in high-altitude bunker-busting operations, counter-insurgency operations in the jungles and urban environments, as well as for supporting ground forces.
  • The helicopter can also be used against slow-moving aircraft and remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) of adversaries. Officials said it would be a potent platform to meet the operational requirements of the IAF and the Indian Army.

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