JODHPUR: The Indian Air Force's prowess has gone up a notch today with the induction of the first batch of indigenously-developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) into the IAF inventory. The induction took place in a ceremony at Jodhpur, Rajasthan today.
Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh was present at the ceremony.
The minister took to Twitter and said, "The induction of these helicopters will be a big boost to the IAF's combat prowess."
The LCH, which is to be newly inducted, possesses aerial combat capabilities. It will help the air force combat slow-moving aircraft, drones and armoured columns during conflicts.
Rajnath Singh led the ceremony. He has contributed immensely to progressing cases that facilitated the induction of new indigenous platforms for forces.
He also saw over the Cabinet Committee on Security Force which cleared the purchase of 15 of these LCHs for the air force and army. Among the 15 of the approved LCHs, 10 would be inducted into the IAF and the other five into the army.
According to officials, the 5.8-tonne twin-engine LCH is capable of landing and taking off from an altitude of 5,000 metres with weapons and fuel.
The LCH has stealth features, armoured-protection systems, night attack capability and crash-worthy landing gear for better survivability.
The LCH can also be deployed in high-altitude bunker-busting operations, counter-insurgency operations both in jungles and populated areas, and for supporting ground forces.
These choppers have flown extensively in Ladakh and the desert areas to meet the requirements of the armed forces. In the last three to four years, multiple helicopters have been inducted into the IAF inventory. This includes the Chinooks, Apache attack helicopters and today the LCHs.
The IAF has also started deploying women pilots in Chinook choppers who carry routine supply missions to the northern and eastern borders.
The Cabinet Committee on Security met under Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister's Chairmanship on March 30, 2022. The CCS approved the availing of 15 Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), Limited Series Production. The procurement costs Rs 3,887 Cr along with Infrastructure sanctions which worth Rs 377 crore.
The LCH Limited Series Production (LSP) is an indigenously designed, developed and manufactured state-of-the-art modern combat helicopter. It comprises approx. 45 pc indigenous content by value. According to speculations, this will increase to more than 55 pc for SP Version.