Two HAL Light Combat Helicopters Deployed by IAF in Ladakh

 In Land, China, Air, Forces & Capabilities

Two HAL pro­duced Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) have been deployed in Ladakh in sup­port of Indian Air Force (IAF) mis­sions “at short notice.”

The heli­copter took off from a high alti­tude loca­tion to a for­ward area for a sim­u­lat­ed attack on a high alti­tude target. This was fol­lowed by a land­ing at one of the most treach­er­ous heli­pads in the region. The LCH suc­cess­ful­ly demon­strat­ed its quick deploy­ment prowess to for­ward loca­tions at extreme tem­per­a­tures, a HAL release said.

Interestingly, the LCH heli­copters are yet to be for­mal­ly induct­ed into the IAF.  Deployments by the IAF and the Indian Army have inten­si­fied fol­low­ing the Galwan clash between Chinese and Indian troops in June.

“In view of the pre­vail­ing sit­u­a­tion on the border, HAL’s LCH has been deployed for oper­a­tions at high alti­tude (Leh sector) to sup­port IAF oper­a­tions. The Vice Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Harjit Singh Arora took part in one such oper­a­tion with HAL test pilot Subash John,” the release said.

The LCH’s weapons are capa­ble of hit­ting any type of target by day or night. It can carry ade­quate weapon load  at high alti­tudes under varied con­di­tions, the release added.

The IAF and the Indian Army togeth­er need around 160 LCHs. The Defence acqui­si­tion Council has approved a pro­pos­al to man­u­fac­ture and induct an ini­tial batch of 15 LCHs. HAL has already respond­ed to an IAF request for pro­pos­al for 15 LCH chop­pers in lim­it­ed series  pro­duc­tion (LSP). Technical eval­u­a­tion and price nego­ti­a­tion has been con­clud­ed and the order is expect­ed short­ly.

However, HAL has already launched the man­u­fac­ture of LSP format LCH chop­pers at its Bangalore facil­i­ty.

The IAF has deployed  its Apache heli­copters  in the Ladakh region fol­low­ing the Galwan clash with Chinese troops in which 18 Indian sol­diers died. Combat heli­copters are among the pre­ferred weapons plat­forms in the moun­tain­ous regions where sur­face trans­port can be slow.

DefenseWorld source|articles

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