The HAL Light Combat Helicopter prototype TD-2 in cold weather testing near Air Force Station Leh (Image © Hindustan Aeronautics Limited)

Indian Light Combat Helicopter shows its power

The indigenous Light Combat Helicopter of India is showing more and more of its capabilities. The latest achievement in the flight testing phase: the firing of 70-mm rockets like it will do in a real-war situation.

The firing trials are executed at Jaisalmer, where the 20-mm gun in the nose turret, as well as air-to-air missiles will be deployed from the LCH this year as well, a spokesperson of the helicopter’s manufacturer, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), confirmed. “The LCH TD-3 is integrated with Electo-Optical (EO) System, Solid State Digital Video Recording System (SSDVR) and 70mm Rocket system in conjunction with an updated Glass Cockpit software to cater for rocket firing.”

The Indian Light Combat Helicopter firing 70-mm rockets during test trials (Image © Hindustan Aeronautics Limited)
The Indian Light Combat Helicopter firing 70-mm rockets during test trials (Image © Hindustan Aeronautics Limited)

Iron Fist 2016

Meanwhile HAL and the Indian Air Force are confident enough to enrole the LCH in the nation’s Iron Fist 2016 exercise, which starts on 18 March and takes place in the Thar Desert. A total of 181 aircraft are planned to take part, flying in from several bases.

Unique to the LCH

The Light Combat Helicopter – we at Airheadsfly.com actually hope somebody in India will come up with a fancy nickname – is a 5.5-ton class, combat helicopter. It is powered by two Shakti engines and inherits many technical features of the HAL Dhruv. According to HAL the features that are unique to LCH are sleek and narrow fuselage, tri-cycle crashworthy landing gear, crashworthy and self sealing fuel tanks, armor protection, nuclear and low visibility features which makes the LCH lethal, agile and survivable.

LCH-1 (Image © Hindustan Aeronautics Limited)
LCH-1 (Image © Hindustan Aeronautics Limited)

Targeting

The helicopter wil have day/night targeting systems for the crew including the Helmet Pointed Sight and Electro-Optical Pod consisting of CCD camera/FLIR/Laser Range Finder (LRF)/Laser Designator (LD). The LCH is fitted with Self Protection Suite consisting of Radar/Laser Missile warning systems and Counter Measures Dispensing System (CMDS).

The first prototype helicopter had its inaugural flight on 23 March 2010. Since then three more machines were added to the flight and weapons testing program.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: The HAL Light Combat Helicopter prototype TD-2 in cold weather testing earlier, near Air Force Station Leh (Image © Hindustan Aeronautics Limited)