Inaugural Firing of Light Combat Helicopter Prachand
The Indian Army achieved a significant milestone on Monday as it conducted the inaugural firing of the 70mm rocket and 20mm turret guns mounted on the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Prachand. This successful operation marks a momentous step forward in India’s indigenous defense capabilities. The first LCH squadron of the Indian Army, stationed at Missamari, carried out the firing exercise at the Likabali Air Force Station in Arunachal Pradesh.
Prachand: India’s First Multi-Role Combat Helicopter
The LCH Prachand represents India’s pioneering effort in developing its first indigenous multi-role combat helicopter. This advanced aircraft is a creation of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and is specially designed to cater to the operational needs of the Indian armed forces, particularly in challenging terrains like deserts and mountainous regions.
Key Features of the Prachand
Equipped with the Shakti Engine, co-developed by HAL and France’s Safran, the Prachand received operational clearance in 2017. This versatile helicopter can perform a wide range of tasks, including Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Destruction of Enemy Air Defence (DEAD), engagements against slow-moving aircraft and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs), high-altitude bunker busting operations, counter-insurgency operations in jungle and urban environments, and providing support to ground forces.
The Prachand, belonging to the 5.8-tonne class of combat helicopters, boasts a maximum speed of 288 kmph and an impressive combat radius of 500 km, with a service ceiling extending up to 21,000 feet. Additionally, it will be armed with Helina missiles, known as Dhruvastra in the air force version.
Induction into the Indian Army
The Indian Army reached a significant milestone when it inducted its first LCH on September 29, 2022. This development underscores the nation’s commitment to enhancing its defense capabilities through indigenous innovations in aviation technology.
Category: Defence Current Affairs