Indian state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)’s indigenous Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) has completed weapon trials and is ready for operational induction.
“This is the first time in the country that a helicopter has carried out an air to air missile engagement. With this, the LCH has completed all weapon integration tests and is ready for operational induction,” R Madhavan, CMD-HAL said.
Weapons on LCH include a 20mm Turret gun and 70 mm Rockets, the firing trials of which have already been completed last year.
According to the HAL, LCH is the only attack helicopter in the world capable of operating at altitudes as high as Siachen glacier.
LCH Pilots are equipped with Helmet mounted sight and a forward looking infrared sighting system enabling them to detect and destroy targets on ground and in the air. Using these sights, the pilots can launch a missile onto targets without having to turn the helicopter. The fire and forget missiles are effective against aerial threat, including UAVs and microlight aircraft. The combat helicopter is capable of operating from dispersed locations and flying at low levels.
The MoD has accorded approval for procurement of initial batch of 15 LCHs (10 for IAF and 5 for Army).