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Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs, declared the launch of production of an Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)-designed 5.8 ton category Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and dedicated HAL’s role-changer design upgrade program of Hawk-i to the nation in HAL premises on Aug. 26. Senior officials from the Ministry of Defence, Indian Air Force and HAL were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Jaitely hailed HAL’s confidence in bringing Hawk-i and LCH indigenously. He said DPSU’s work culture and performance have the highest standards of professionalism. “We are moving in the right direction in evolving ourselves into a major manufacturing hub,” he said. “In this context, today’s [Aug. 26] experience has been encouraging.”
HAL’s Rotary-Wing Research and Design Centre (RWRDC) designed the LCH, whereas the Mission & Combat System R&D Centre (MCSRDC) designed the Hawk-I in association with the aircraft division.
The basic version of LCH has been cleared by the Center for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC). The DAC has accorded approval for procurement of 15 LCH from HAL under the IDDM category. Accordingly, the production has now been launched.
HAL designed the twin-engine Light Combat Helicopter featuring narrow fuselage and tandem configuration for pilot and co-pilot/weapon system operator. The helicopter has indigenous state-of-the-art technologies such as integrated dynamic system, bearing-less tail rotor, anti-resonance vibration isolation system, crash-worthy landing gear, smart glass cockpit, hinge less main rotor, armor protection and stealth features from visual, aural, radar and IR signatures.
The helicopter is equipped with a 20-millimeter Turret gun, 70-millimeter Rocket, air-to-air missile, EO-Pod and helmet pointing system. The helicopter can carry out operational roles under extreme weather conditions at different altitudes from sea level, hot weather desert, cold weather and Himalayan altitudes.