NEW DELHI: India’s very own Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) is ready for induction, informed R. Madhavan on Thursday in-front of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
R. Madhavan, Chairman and Managing Director Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) said, “LCH is completely ready for operational induction,” adding that the Helicopter Complex is geared up for its production.
Rajnath Singh was in Bangalore to inaugurate the new Light Combat Helicopter Production Hangar at Helicopter Division in HAL Complex.
LCH is a 5.5-tonne class combat helicopter designed and developed by HAL.
It is powered by two Shakti engines and inherits many technical features of the Advanced Light Helicopter.
LCH has the distinction of being the first attach helicopter to land in Forward Bases at Siachen, 4,700 metres above sea level with 500 kg load.
HAL also apprised Raksha Mantri on the progress of new design and development programme of indigenous Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH).
The full-scale mock-up was showcased to the Defence Minister.
The IMRH is proposed as replacement to the existing medium-lift helicopters such as Mi17’s, Kamovs and Seakings which will phase out in the next eight to ten years.
“There has been increase in defence exports that have crossed Rs 17,000 crore in the last two years,” said Rajnath Singh.
Rs 35,000 crore exports target has been set for the coming years.
“HAL has achieved operational clearance on seven platforms, including Light Combat Aircraft and Light Combat Helicopter, and overhauled platforms like Hawk and SU 30 MKI,” Rajanth Singh said.
Noting that HAL is now facing stiff competition from private defence industries, Raksha Mantri urged the DPSU to take this changing environment as a challenge and grab the opportunities to increase their competitiveness in the international market.