India will order soon 15 local-made Light Combat Helicopter LCH produced by HAL

According to information released by the Indian Defense Blog Livefist Defence on June 14, 2020, India will order soon the first batch of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) local-made Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), a multi-role combat helicopter designed and developed by Rotary Wing Research and Design Center and manufactured by HAL.

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India will order soon 15 local made Light Combat Helicopter LCH produced by HAL 925 001 Indian-made Light Combat Helicopter during a flight demonstration at the DefExpo defense exhibition in India. (Picture source Air Recognition)

During November 2016, the Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) authorized the purchase of an initial batch of 15 LCHs for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Army Air Corps (AAC), referred to as being a limited series production order. By mid-2017, the AAC had placed combined orders for 114 LCHs, while the IAF had a total of 65 LCHs on order. During early 2017, it was reported that the LCH's initial operating capability (IOC) with the Indian armed forces was expected to occur by 2018. The AAC intended to deploy the indigenous LCH alongside the American-built Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

The HAL Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) is a multirole combat helicopter, designed to perform various attack profiles, including relatively high altitude flight. Equipped with a two-person tandem cockpit to accommodate a pilot and co-pilot/gunner, it has been developed to perform both the anti-infantry and anti-armor missions.

The LCH is fitted with a glass cockpit that accommodates an Integrated Avionics and Display System (IADS) which used an array of multifunction displays in conjunction with the onboard target acquisition and designation (TADS) system. A prominent element of the TADS system is the helmet-mounted sight (HMS), which serves as the principal instrument for targeting and triggering the rotorcraft's armaments. The LCH is protected via an extensive electronic warfare suite which is provided by the South African division of Saab Group; this suite comprises various defensive elements to guard against several different threats, these include a radar warning receiver (RWR), laser warning receiver (LWR) and a missile approach warning (MAW) system.

The LCH is armed with the M621 cannon, a 20 mm automatic cannon of French design, developed by Nexter as onboard armament for armored vehicles, aircraft, helicopters and small coastal vessels of the French Navy. The M621 cannon is incorporated in a Nexter-built THL 20 turret and integrated into a helmet-mounted sight. Various missiles can also be equipped upon the LCH; these include a maximum of four 70 mm anti-tank guided missiles – options are to include both foreign and Indian-built missiles, the latter in the form of the Helina anti-tank missile. In terms of air-to-air missiles, the LCH shall be capable of being armed with the MBDA Mistral 2 missile.