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New Made-in-India light chopper inducted into Air Force fleet

The first batch of indigenously-developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) named " Prachand" was inducted into the Indian Air Force in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The induction ceremony was held in Rajasthan's Jodhpur where newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Anil Chauhan was also present along with the Minister.

While speaking on the occasion, Singh said that LCH will enhance our capability and will boost defence production and it proves India's commitment towards self-reliance in Defence production.

"There could not have been a better timing for LCH induction than Navratri and in the land of warriors, Rajasthan," Singh said, adding that the LCH is a result of research and development for two decades.

The new chopper getting inducted into the force is capable of aerial combat and will help the force combat slow-moving aircraft, drones and armoured columns during conflicts.

Defence Minister also talked about the key feature of this made-in-India LCH and said it perfectly meets the needs of our armed forces.

"LCH is capable of dodging the enemy, carrying a variety of ammunition, and delivering it to the site quickly. LCH perfectly meets the needs of our armed forces in various terrains and it is an ideal platform for both our Army and Airforce," he added.

Giving reference to the Ukraine-Russia war, Rajnath said, "The conflict or earlier conflicts teach us that heavy weapon systems and platforms, which are unable to move rapidly across the battlefield, have a low capability, and become easy targets for the enemy."

The light combat helicopter is a dedicated combat helicopter designed and developed indigenously in India. It has been manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Of the 15 limited series production helicopters approved, 10 are for the IAF and five for the army. It can land and take off from an altitude of 5,000 metres with weapons and fuel, the officials said.

The choppers have been flown extensively in Ladakh and the desert sector to meet the requirements of the armed forces.


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