State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Saturday launched the production of the 5.8 ton category Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) to fulfill an Indian MoD order for 15 helicopters.
Indian Minister of Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs, Mr. Arun Jaitley, declared the launch of production of the LCH on Saturday at the HAL Rotary Wing Centre in Bangalore.
The basic version of LCH has been cleared by the Center for Military Airworththiness and Certification (CEMILAC). The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has earlier accorded approval for procurement of 15 LCH from HAL. “Accordingly, the production is launched today,” a HAL release said.
HAL designed the twin engine LCH featuring narrow fuselage and tandem configuration for pilot and co-pilot or weapon system operator. The helicopter has locally-made technologies like integrated dynamic system, bearing less Tail Rotor, anti-resonance vibration isolation system, crash worthy landing gear, smart glass cockpit, hinge less main rotor, armour protection and stealth features from visual, aural, radar and IR signatures.
The helicopter is equipped with 20mm Turret gun, 70 mm Rocket, Air to Air Missile, EO-Pod and Helmet pointing system. The helicopter can carry out operational roles under extreme weather conditions at different altitudes from sea level, hot weather desert, cold weather and Himalayan altitudes.
The LCH has demonstrated capability to land and take off from the high-altitude Siachen range with considerable load, fuel and weapons that are beyond the capabilities of any other combat helicopter.