Current Affairs - January, 2019

Light Combat Helicopter Completes Weapon Trials

The indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) of India has successfully carried out air-to-air missile firing. It was for the first time in India that a helicopter had carried out air to air missile engagement.

The LCH developed by HAL has completed all weapon integration tests and is ready for operational induction. The operational trails of LCH with 20 mm Turret gun and 70 mm rockets had been completed last year itself.

Features of the LCH

The LCH is the only attack helicopter in the world which is capable of operating at altitudes as high as the location of Siachen glacier. The LCH is mounted with a helmet mounted sight and a forward-looking infrared sighting system. This enables the pilots to detect and destroy any target on the ground or in the air.

This advance sighting system will enable the pilot to launch a missile onto any target without having to turn the helicopter. The trails showed that the fire and forget missile was effective against all types of aerial threat, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and microlight aircraft.

The LCH is capable of operating from dispersed locations and flying at ultra-low levels. This provides for a protective umbrella from all aerial threats.

IAF AN-32 lands in Pakyong Airport of Sikkim

For the first time, Antonov-32 AN-32 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a successful landing at Sikkim’s Pakyong, one of the highest airfields in the country.

The successful landing has assumed great importance due to its strategic location of 60 km from the India-China border and it is located 4,500 feet above sea level. The successful landing is a booster for the Indian efforts which is aggressively overhauling the infrastructure, particularly in the North-Eastern region, following the Doklam standoff in 2017.

Pakyong Airport

Pakyong Airport is a Greenfield airport near Gangtok, the capital of the state of Sikkim. It is the first greenfield airport to be constructed in the Northeastern Region of India.

The airport is strategically important and the Indian Air Force is also building on the ability to land certain military aircraft at the Pakyong Airport. Prior to the inauguration of the Pakyong Airport by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24th September 2018, Sikkim was the sole state in India without a functional airport and Sikkim was dependent on the airport at  Bagdogra in the neighbouring state of West Bengal, and Paro Airport in Bhutan.

 Categories: Defence Current Affairs
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