In a significant move, the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Wednesday approved the purchase of 15 locally developed Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) at a cost of Rs 3,887 crore. The Ministry of Defense said 10 helicopters will be for the Indian Air Force and five for the Indian Army.
“The CCS has approved the purchase of the limited series production of 15 Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) at a cost of Rs 3,887 crore along with infrastructure sanctions worth Rs 377 crore,” he said. he declared.
The limited series production of light combat helicopters (LSP) is a locally developed combat helicopter containing approximately 45% indigenous content by value, which will gradually increase to more than 55%.
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State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) produces the helicopter. The decision to procure the helicopters came as the three services were largely focused on improving their overall combat capabilities given India faces a myriad of security challenges, including along the borders with India. China.
The LCH is equipped with the agility, maneuverability, extended range, high altitude performance and all-weather combat capability needed to perform a range of roles including combat search and rescue (CSAR), destruction of enemy air defense (DEAD) and counterinsurgency (CI), according to the ministry.
He said the helicopter can also be deployed in high-altitude bunker-busting operations, counter-insurgency operations in jungle and urban environments and to support ground forces.
The helicopter can also be used against slow moving aircraft and remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) of adversaries. The ministry said it would be a powerful platform to meet the operational requirements of the Indian Air Force and Indian Army.
“Advanced technologies and systems supporting stealth features such as reduced visual, sound, radar and infrared signatures and crashworthiness features for improved survivability have been integrated into the LCH for deployment in roles meeting emerging needs for the next three to four decades,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Several key aircraft technologies like a glass cockpit and a composite airframe structure have been indigenized. The future mass production version will include other modern and indigenous systems,” he said.
The ministry said India is steadily growing in its ability to locally design, develop and manufacture cutting edge advanced defense technologies and systems under the “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan”.
“The manufacturing of LCH by HAL will give further impetus to the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative and boost the indigenization of defense production and defense industry in the country,” he said.
“The production of LCH will reduce the import dependency of combat helicopters in the country. Light combat helicopters are already on the import embargo list. With its built-in versatile features for combat missions, the LCH has export capability,” the ministry said.
(Edited by : Jomy Jos Pullokaran)