India set to order second batch of LCH helos
HAL has received an RFP for a second batch of Light Combat Helicopters following the initial batch ordered at the official production launch in August.
HAL reports that it has received a Request for Proposal (RFP) for 15 “Limited Series” Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) from the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Army.
This constitutes the second production batch of LCH helicopters, following the initial batch of 15 machines ordered at the official production launch in August 2017. Four technology demonstrators are currently undergoing flight testing.
LCH is a 5.5t-class combat helicopter designed and developed by HAL. It is powered by two Shakti engines — a licence-built version of the Safran HE Ardiden 1H1 — and inherits many technical features of the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). Features include a narrow fuselage, tri-cycle crashworthy landing gear, crashworthy and self-sealing fuel tanks, armour protection and low-visibility features.
Production helicopters will be equipped with a day/night targeting systems for the crew, including a helmet-pointed sight and electro-optical pod consisting of CCD camera/FLIR/Laser Range Finder (LRF)/Laser Designator (LD). The LCH is also fitted with a self-protection suite consisting of a Radar/Laser Missile warning systems and countermeasures dispensing system.
Designed to operate at high altitudes, LCH was the first attack helicopter to land in the Indian Army's Forward Bases at Siachen, 5400m above sea level. The helicopter participated in IAF's “Iron Fist 2016” exercise in March 2016 and displayed its rocket firing capabilities in its weaponised configuration.