Mastering the Skies: The IAF’s LCH – A Lightweight Multirole Powerhouse

In a significant boost to India’s air power capabilities, the Chief of Air Staff for the Indian Air Force (IAF), Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria, embarked on a sortie aboard HAL’s indigenous Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) in Bengaluru today. The sortie, lasting 45 minutes, marks a crucial milestone ahead of the LCH’s impending induction into the armed forces.

Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, who assumed command of the Indian Air Force in September 2019, has a history of piloting indigenous aircraft. On May 27, 2020, he also took to the skies in HAL’s homegrown Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, during its induction into the IAF’s 18 Squadron (Flying Bullets) stationed at the Sulur air base near Coimbatore.

The LCH stands as the world’s lightest multi-role attack helicopter, boasting an impressive flight ceiling that enhances its versatility and combat capabilities.

Proposal for the Initial Batch of 15 LCHs

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has greenlit the proposal for the initial batch of 15 LCHs, signalling a commitment to strengthening India’s aerial combat capabilities.

LCH’s First Prototype Successfully Tested in March 2010

Derived from the company’s multi-role Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv and its weaponized variant, Rudra, the LCH’s first prototype underwent successful testing in March 2010. The development efforts, exceptional design, and dedicated flight test team have made the LCH a promising platform.

Highlighting the LCH’s potential as a potent asset due to its outstanding design and development, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria expressed the IAF’s eager anticipation of its imminent induction. He conveyed confidence in HAL’s commitment to expedite production, ensuring the LCH joins the IAF’s arsenal swiftly.

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