Light Combat Helicopter Current Affairs - 2020

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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.

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HAL successfully tests Light Combat Helicopter for first time

State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd for first time has successfully flown home-made 5.8-tonne Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) with its own automatic flight control system. The 20 minute maiden flight of the multirole copter was flawless with the engagement of the flight control system throughout.

Key Facts

The helicopter is powered by two Shakti engines and has many features of indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv. It also has day and night targeting systems for crew, including helmet-pointed sight and electro-optical pod.

It is twin-seat chopper is equipped for day-and-night combat operations with digital camouflage system for stealth actions and is known for its agility. The indigenous flight control system of LCH developed by HAL will replace the imported one.

The company has also indigenised attack helicopter’s display system or integrated architecture display system with involvement of private industry. So far HAL has built four technology demonstrators of LCH for flight testing. One of them also landed in forward bases at Siachen, located 5,400 metres above sea level in eastern Karakoram range of Himalayas.

Background

HAL had received a request for proposal (RFP) on December 22 for the supply of 15 LCH from Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Army. The deal was cleared by Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in 2016 for purchase of 10 LCH for IAF and five for Indian Army. The LCH also participated in IAF’s Iron Fist exercise in March 2016 and had displayed its rocket-firing capabilities in weaponised configuration. The then Defence Minister Arun Jaitely had launched LCH production when it received the initial operational clearance.

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