Defence Reporter

Putting you on the front line

13 years of hard work - meet India`s Light Combat Helicopter ... `Master Stroke`

HAL launches India`s first attack helicopter. Before it joins the Indian Army and Indian Air Force, defence reporter brings you an exclusive experience of flying in the Light Combat Helicopter.

Updated:Saturday, September 21, 2019, 00:01

13 years of hard work - meet India`s Light Combat Helicopter ... `Master Stroke`The HAL Light Combat Helicopter is an Indian multirole combat helicopter developed and manufactured by Indian aerospace manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. It has been ordered for both the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army. The type is also intended to be sold upon the export market, since 2015, HAL has been seeking other customers for the LCH.

The LCH drew extensively on an earlier indigenous helicopter developed and manufactured by HAL, the Dhruv; using this rotorcraft as a starting point has been attributed as significantly reducing the cost of the programme. On 29 March 2010, the first LCH prototype performed its maiden flight. An extensive test programme, involving a total of four prototypes, was conducted. During the course of these tests, the LCH gained the distinction of being the first attack helicopter to land in Siachen, having repeatedly landed at several high altitude helipads, some of which being as high as 13,600 feet to 15,800 feet. During mid 2016, the LCH was recognised as having completed its performance trials, paving way for the certification of its basic configuration. On 26 August 2017, limited series production of the LCH was formally inaugurated.

The LCH is furnished with a glass cockpit which accommodates an Integrated Avionics and Display System (IADS) which used an array of multifunction displays in conjunction with the onboard target acquisition and designation (TADS) system. A prominent element of the TADS system is the helmet mounted sight (HMS), which serves as the principal instrument for targeting and triggering the rotorcraft`s armaments. The LCH is protected via an extensive electronic warfare suite which is provided by the South African division of Saab Group; this suite comprises various defensive elements to guard against several different threats, these include a radar warning receiver (RWR), laser warning receiver (LWR) and a missile approach warning (MAW) system.

The onboard sensor suite is Elbit CoMPASS, produced locally by Bharat Electronics Limited. It consists of a CCD camera, a forward looking infrared (FLIR) imaging sensor, a laser rangefinder and a laser designator to facilitate target acquisition under all-weather conditions, including under nighttime conditions.

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