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IAF inducts first batch of light combat helicopter ‘Prachand’; here’s what you need to know

IAF inducts first batch of light combat helicopter ‘Prachand’; here’s what you need to know

Of the 15 Prachand helicopters approved, 10 have been provided for the Indian Air Force and five are for Indian Army.

The light combat helicopter has been manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The light combat helicopter has been manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

The Indian Air Force (IAF) inducted the first batch of ‘Prachand’ – a domestically developed light combat helicopter (LCH) in Jodhpur in the presence of newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Anil Chauhan, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

“For a long time, there was a need for attack helicopters and during the 1999 Kargil war, its need was felt seriously. The LCH is a result of research and development for two decades. And its induction into IAF is an important milestone in defence production,” Singh said at Prachand LCHs’ induction ceremony.

Top points to know about the Prachand helicopter

- The light combat helicopter has been manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

- Prachand can take off and land at an altitude of 5,000 metres with a load of weapons and fuel and can prove useful to the Indian Armed Forces, as per the HAL.

- Singh noted, “Time requires to shift towards such equipment and platforms that are easy to move, more flexible and also more lethal. I like to appreciate HAL engineers for putting all these features in LCH. And don’t get confused with the ‘light’ word associated with it but the task it will deliver is ‘heavy.’ ”

- Of the 15 Prachand helicopters approved, 10 have been provided for the Indian Air Force and five are for Indian Army.

- The Army also has plans to acquire 95 LCHs for combat in mountain areas in the future.

- The light combat helicopter is capable of aerial combat and can help in combating slow-moving aircraft, drones and armoured columns during conflicts.

- Prachand helicopters can also be deployed in high-altitude bunker-busting operations, counter-insurgency operations in jungles, urban environments and for supporting ground forces.

- As per IAF officials, state-of-the-art technologies and features and systems compatible with stealth features like reduced visual, aural, radar and IR signatures and crashworthiness features for better survival have been integrated into the aircraft for deployment in combat situations.

- Prior to its induction in the IAF, the 5.8 tonne twin-engine helicopter was tested under operating conditions such as sea level, in desert ratings and in Siachen. The aircraft was declared ready for production in February 2020.

Published on: Oct 03, 2022, 3:09 PM IST
Posted by: Mehak Agarwal, Oct 03, 2022, 2:54 PM IST