Tag Archives: Light Combat Helicopter

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)

India chooses Apaches and Chinooks

Unless India’s prime minister Modi or the US Congress stops it, India is buying 22 AH-64D Apache attack helicopters and 15 CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters from US manufacturer Boeing. The Defence Ministry has sent its final request to the PM’s office earlier this week.

The HAL Light Combat Helicopter prototype TD-2 in cold weather testing near Air Force Station Leh (Image © Hindustan Aeronautics Limited)
RELATED POST:
India’s own Light Combat Helicopter stays “cool”
The deal, worth more than 3 billion US dollars, foresees in options for another 11 Apaches and 4 Chinooks. By accepting the American offer, India continues to field a mix of Russian and Western made helicopters, after striking a deal earlier this month with Russia for the local Indian production of the Ka-226T.

Russian Helicopters was hoping to sell more Mil Mi-26 ultra-heavy lift helicopters, of which the Indian Air Force already operates three. The twenty Air Force Mil Mi-35 Hinds in service might either be supplemented or replaced by the Apache.

The Indian Army Air Corps also has a small attack helicopter fleet, but only from indigenous Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The 20 HAL Rudra of the IAAC are to be suplemented by another 20 plus the future HAL Light Combat Helicopter currently in prototype testing phase.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image (top): A US Army AH-64D over Baghdad in 2007 (Image © Chief Warrant Officer Daniel McClinton / 1st Air Cavalry Brigade / US Army)

Boeing delivered the first two of seven CH-47F Chinooks to the Australian Army at a ceremony in Queensland. The remaining aircraft will be delivered throughout 2015. (Image © Boeing)
Australia was one of the last countries to get the new CH-47F Chinook. Seen here one of the first two at a ceremony in Queensland. The remaining aircraft will be delivered throughout 2015. (Image © Boeing)

India’s own Light Combat Helicopter stays “cool”

India’s indigenous Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) tries to keep warm, while staying cool at the same time. Manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the Indian Air Force and Indian Army put the technology demonstrator of the time through some proper winter trials.

Place of action was Air Force Station Leh and the star of the show was prototype TD-2, featuring a nice camouflage dress. “The trials covered engine starts with internal batteries after overnight cold soak at 3 and 4.1 kilometres altitude,” says HAL Chairman Mr. T. Suvarna Raju, meaning about 9,800 to 13,450 feet. “The engine starts were satisfactory in the temperature of minus 18 degree Celsius at 4.1 km. The flights were also carried out to assess high altitude performance and low speed handling.”

The test flight fleet is soon four machines strong. TD-3 joined took to the skies for the first time in November 2014, and TD-4 will come soon. “Building more prototypes and increasing the number of flights will reduce the lead-time for Initial Operational Capability,” HAL boss Raju states.

Features
The LCH is of 5.5 ton class attack helicopter, powered by two Shakti engines and inherits many technical features of the Advanced Light Helicopter or Dhruv. The features that are unique to LCH are sleek and narrow fuselage, tri-cycle crashworthy landing gear, crashworthy and self-sealing fuel tanks, armour protection and low visibility features. The helicopter will have day/night targeting systems including a helmet pointed sight and electro-optical pod consisting of a CCD camera, a forward-looking infrared (FLIR), a Laser Range Finder (LRF) and a Laser Designator (LD).

The LCH is fitted with self-protection suite consisting of radar/laser missile warning systems and a counter measures dispensing system. The first prototype helicopter had its inaugural flight in May 2010. The second prototype flew in June 2011.

Current plans call for 65 HAL Light Combat Helicopters for the Indian Air Force and 114 for the Indian Army.

Source: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited / Indian Ministry of Defence
Featured image: The HAL Light Combat Helicopter prototype TD-2 in cold weather testing near Air Force Station Leh (Image © Hindustan Aeronautics Limited)

India’s combat helicopter takes off

While not the prettiest helicopter ever, the LCH is an achievement by HAL. (Image © HAL)
While not the prettiest helicopter ever, the LCH is an achievement by HAL. (Image © HAL)

In India, the third Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Technology Demonstrator successfully took to the skies on Wednesday 12 November. Escorted by a Dhruv helicopter, the entire flight was flawless, says its manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The flight lasted 20 minutes.

According to HAL, the locally developed and produced helicopter will be an effective weapon platform to deliver precision strikes at high altitude and will meet the requirements of the Indian Air Force. “We are making all efforts to achieve Initial Operation Clearance by September next year”, says Dr. R.K. Tyagi, chairman of HAL.

The very first Indian LCH was first flown on 29 March 2010, with the second following on 28 June 2011. These two Technology Demonstrators now have flown a total of 285 hours in 388 flights. With the third, the program will really take off.

HAL has now started preparations for building two more helicopters, which will be used to accelerate flight testing, plus indigenous development of avionics and display systems. HAL plans to be less independent on foreign suppliers in the future. Also, the Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) will be tested.

Source: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited