The Indian Air Force on Monday inducted the first fleet of indigenously-built Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), named Prachand, which has been developed primarily for mountain warfare after a requirement for it was felt during the Kargil war in 1999.
Developed by state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the 5.8-tonne twin-engine gunship chopper is armed with air-to-air missiles, 20 mm turret guns, rocket systems and other weapons.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted,
The induction of LCH ‘Prachanda’ is a special moment for the collective resolve of 130 crore Indians to make our nation strong and self-reliant in the defence sector. Congratulations to every Indian! https://t.co/KEGe7aXPmL
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 3, 2022
The fleet comprising four helicopters was inducted into the IAF at a ceremony at the Jodhpur Air Force Station in presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and other senior military officials.
The LCH would be an effective platform in hitting enemy targets, tanks, bunkers, drones and other assets in high-altitude regions, military officials said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh who took a sortie in Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) ‘Prachand’ at Jodhpur airbase.
“It was a smooth and comfortable flight in the indigenously built Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). It can fly in any terrain, weather, and altitude; it has the capability to attack. Our motto is — make in India, make for the world,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said.
“There is no need to define ‘Prachand’, the LCH itself is capable of sending out a message to the enemy,” he added.