TEZPUR: The Indian Army has decided to deploy the indigenously manufactured Prachand helicopters in the Missamari base of Sonitpur District of the state. Prachand is a newly developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). These new aircrafts will increase the surveillance as well as defence capacities of the region manifold.
These LCHs have Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Destruction of Enemy Air Defence (DEAD), and Counter Insurgency (CI) operational capability. They can also take on slow-moving aircraft and Remotely Piloted Aircraft as well as bunker buster raids. These state of the art machines are especially suited for the mountain terrain as they land and take off at an altitude of 16000ft even when loaded. The Indian Air Force will take ten of these aircraft while the Indian Army will take five more from the initial order of fifteen.
Missamari is home to one of the Army Aviation Brigades of the country. The other two are located in Jodhpur and Leh respectively. And it will receive four Prachand helicopters by the end of this month. They will work in the forward regions of the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Missamari Aviation Brigade was raised in March 2021 to boost air capabilities to support ground forces in the region. Now the brigade has access to long-distance surveillance drones, radars and night vision capabilities, and satellite imagery to get an accurate picture of Chinese activities along the LAC. This is a matter of utmost national security given the increased Chinese military infrastructure near the border.
Apart from military applications, these Light Combat Helicopters can also be used in peacetime support missions. Owning to the strenuous terrain, these will be able to provide support during landslides and other natural disasters in the region. They can effectively provide relief and supply materials to the necessary people as well as emergency evacuations of stranded victims during floods.