First indigenously developed LCH

The first indigenously-developed multirole light combat helicopters named Prachand were inducted into the Indian Air Force.

Key facts

  • Prachand was formally inducted into the 143 Helicopter Unit – an IAF fleet in Jodhpur Base, Rajasthan.
  • Earlier, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CSS) approved the procurement of the 15 LCH Limited Series Production (LSP) at the cost of Rs.3,887 crore.
  • Of the 15 helicopters brought from the LSP, 10 were for the Air Force and the rest were for the Indian Army.
  • The LCH was developed after around 20 years of research and development post Kargil War.
  • The name Prachand means “fierce”.
  • It was designed and developed by the state-owned defence company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  • The indigenous content in LSP version of the helicopter accounts for the 45 per cent of the cost, which is expected to raise to more than 55 per cent in the production version of the series.
  • This indigenously developed 5.5 tonne class combat helicopter is equipped with numerous stealth features, armoured protection, night attack capability and landing gear capable of survival.
  • It has extended range and high-altitude performance capability as well as the round-the-clock, all-weather combat capability.
  • It is capable of neutralizing adversary air defence, conducting counter-insurgency operations and combat search and rescue (CSAR) operations.
  • It is useful for conducting high-altitude bunker busting operations and counter-insurgency operations in jungle and urban terrains.
  • It can also be used for countering slow-moving aircraft and remotely operated aircrafts.
  • This helicopter can also provide assistance to ground forces during combat situations.
  • Presently, the Indian Armed Forces is expected to require a total of 160 LCHs, of which 65 is for IAF and 95 is for the Indian Army.
  • The HAL has now created a strategy to achieve the peak rate production capacity of 30 helicopters per annum to manufacture the remaining 145 of these combat helicopters in 8 years from the date of inking the series production order.




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