Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Some Background Into Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Project

Previously known as the LAH (Light attack helicopter), and not to be confused with the Lancer LAH (Light attack Helicopter), which is a derivative of the Cheetah helicopter, HAL's recently rechristened Light Combat Helicopter (LCH ) is a dedicated combat and gunship variant of the existing Advanced Light Helicopter(Dhruv/ALH), being developed to a draft IAF and IA requirement. The LCH belongs to the 5.5 ton class, with a narrow fuselage accommodating a pilot and a gunner/co-pilot in tandem configuartion. The LCH will feature a full glass cockpit for both the pilot and gunner,as well as eye level displays.
A wooden mockup of HAL LCH (Aero India 07).
The Light Combat Helicopter is powered by engines made by Turbomeca of France, and fitted with anti-tank missiles, air-to-air missiles and electronic warfare equipment, will perform anti-tank and counter insurgency roles, as well as scout duites, escort to heliborne operations and support for combat SAR operations. Armament includes a chin mounted twin barrel 20 mm cannon, rockets, air to surface and air to air missiles.

The LCH will have a glass cockpit with multifunction displays, a target acquisition and designation system with FLIR, Laser rangefinder and laser designator. Weapons will be aimed with a helmet mounted sight and there will be an electronic warfare suite with radar warning receiver, laser warning receiver and a missile approach warning system.

Aero India 2003 revealed a full scale mock up of India's new Light Combat Helicopter from HAL. At that time it was expected to be operational within four years. The IAF offered Rs. 300 crores to fund in part the LCH project, and according to HAL Chairman N.R. Mohanty, the helicopter will make its maiden flight in 2005. The LCH proposal was at an advanced stage, and would need 25 months to fly from date of project launch and another two years for weaponisation.

The Light Combat Helicopter proposal sponsored by the IAF may face rough weather in its weapon fit, if the Army is not taken on board, now that it has issued its new Doctrine and attack helicopters form a major feature. Rumors of Israeli participation in the project have proven to be unsubstantiated.


Maximum Weight 5500 kg
Max. Cruise at SL 260 km/h
VNE 330 km/h
Max. Operating altitude 6500 m
Ferry range with interm.load 700 km
Max. height 5300 mm
Main rotor diameter 13300 mm
Max. Length 16000 mm
Wing Span 3550 mm
Tail rotor diameter 2054 mm
Armament 20 mm gun
Air to surface missiles
Air-to-Air missiles
Unguided rockets
Iron bombs,Cluster bomb units,Grenade launchers
Anti-radiation missiles

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