PRACHAND ‘TANK-BUSTER’ GUNSHIP PRODUCTION IS COMPLETED BY HAL EARLY IN THE SCHEDULE

World News

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) just last year, in March 2022, approved the production of 15 LCHs, with a budget of Rs 3,837 crore, of which 10 were allotted for the Indian Air Force and five for the Indian Army.

As an attack helicopter, the LCH is armed with a variety of weapons, such as air-to-air missiles, 70mm unguided rockets, laser-guided rockets, anti-tank guided missiles, and a 20mm machine gun.

It specialises in tasks including conducting destruction of enemy air defence (DEAD) missions, carrying out high-altitude bunker-busting operations, and intercepting slowly moving remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs). It serves primarily as a close air support (CAS) aircraft in high-altitude terrain.

The LCH Prachand establishes a noteworthy global precedent by being the only helicopter in existence with the ability to fly at altitudes exceeding 5,000 to 6,000 metres while towing a sizable offensive payload.

It is notable for carrying a 500 kilogramme payload and carrying out successful landings in advanced camps located in Siachen, at a height of 4,700 metres above sea level.

The Kargil conflict is where the idea of light attack helicopters for high-altitude areas first emerged.

The attack versions of the Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters showed their limitations during this fight as they failed to function well in the difficult high-altitude terrains of Kargil.

When these helicopters attempted to ascend the massive Himalayan mountains while fully loaded, they faced severe difficulties.

In order to make the helicopters capable of carrying the heavy loads of fuel and munitions needed for their missions, the forces had to meticulously strip the aircraft down.

With significant activities underway to increase this percentage to exceed 55%, the locally built and developed LCH currently boasts a native content of 45% by value, reinforcing its homegrown identity and capabilities.

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