Rajnath Singh flies sortie in newly-inducted ‘Prachand’

Jodhpur: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday flew a sortie in a Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) after a fleet of the highly agile choppers was inducted into the Indian Air Force.

After the sortie, Singh said at the Jodhpur Air Force station that the LCH ‘Prachand’ is capable of sending out a message to India’s adversaries and that the all-terrain lethal platform also has export potential.

“The LCH is capable of dodging the enemy, carrying a variety of ammunition, and delivering it to the site quickly. The LCH perfectly meets the needs of our armed forces in various terrains,” he said.

“In such a situation, LCH is an ideal platform for both our Army and Air Force,” he added.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) inducted four indigenously-built LCHs, which have been developed primarily for mountain warfare after a requirement for it was felt during the Kargil war in 1999.

The IAF’s newly raised No.143 helicopter unit is operating the platforms manufactured by state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

“I was told that the LCH has been designed and developed to suit the needs of the modern battlefield. In various types of testing in its developmental stages, it has shown its ability to deal with all the challenges,” the defence minister said.

“There could hardly have been a better time than Navratri, the festival of worship of Ma Durga, for the induction ceremony of LCH, and a better place than the soil of Rajasthan,” he said.

Singh was speaking at the induction ceremony.

The LCH is an indigenously developed multi-role attack helicopter equipped with advanced avionics and lethal weapon systems.

The helicopter is designed to carry out offensive roles in high-altitude areas like Ladakh and Siachen.

The narrow fuselage with tandem cockpit configuration makes LCH an extremely manoeuvrable and agile platform to effectively undertake offensive operations.

Advanced technologies and stealth features of LCH like low radar cross section and minimal infra-red signatures allow it to go behind enemy lines undetected and attack with precision.

“With a sleek design, high agility, precision and absolute lethality this aircraft is a formidable warfighter,” said an IAF official.

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