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‘Momentous occasion’: Made-in-India LC Helicopter inducted in IAF by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

In a grand ceremony led by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the made-in-India Light Combat (LC) Helicopter was inducted into the Indian Air Force today. The LCH is one of the most intricately designed combat aircraft and will be a strong addition to the string of warcraft with the IAF.

The first fleet of indigenously-built Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) was inducted into the Indian Air Force on Monday, which has been developed primarily for mountain warfare after a requirement for it was felt during the Kargil war in 1999.

Developed by the state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the 5.8-tonne twin-engine gunship chopper is armed with air-to-air missiles, 20 mm turret guns, rocket systems and other weapons.

The fleet comprising four helicopters was inducted into the IAF at a ceremony at the Jodhpur Air Force Station in presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and other senior military officials.

“It is a momentous occasion reflecting India’s capability in defence production,” Singh said. The LCH would be effective in hitting enemy infantry, tanks, bunkers, drones and other assets in high-altitude regions, military officials said.

“Subsequently, the IAF and HAL began exploring the possibility of developing the platform with a capacity to carry an adequate weapon load, sufficient fuel and still be capable of operating in the higher reaches of the Himalayan ranges,” said an official.

The LC Helicopter has several special features, which will be an asset during air combat, including its stealth and Destruction of Enemy Air Defence (DEAD), as per the official release.

State-of-the-art technologies and systems compatible with stealth features such as reduced Visual, Aural, Radar and IR signatures and crashworthiness features for better survivability have been integrated into LCH for deployment in combat roles catering to emerging needs for the next 3 to 4 decades, as per ANI reports.

Since the LCH is made in India, it will reduce the dependency on international imports and defence deals made with foreign countries. Apart from reducing the import dependency, its special features and design can make it a star on the export list.

(With ANI, PTI inputs)

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