Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, on Monday, inducted the first fleet of indigenously developed Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) ‘Prachand’ into Indian Air Force (IAF) at Jodhpur. Newly-appointed CDS General Anil Chauhan and IAF chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari were also present on the occasion.
“The induction of indigenously developed Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) will enhance our capability and will boost defense production. There could not have been better timing for LCH induction than Navratri and in the land of warriors, Rajasthan,” Rajnath Singh said after the induction of the platform.
Singh also highlighted the role played by the IAF in securing India’s borders and hailed the courage and bravery of India’s air warriors. “The induction of indigenously developed LCH will increase the efficiency of IAF,” Singh said in an address to the officers and airmen of the station.
For a long time, there was a need for attack helicopters and during the 1999 Kargil war, the need of attack chopper was felt seriously. The LCH is a result of research and development for two decades – Singh said, while referring to the induction of the platform as an important milestone in defense production.
The new helicopters is expected to provide a “big boost” to the IAF’s “combat prowess”. The 5.8-tonne twin-engine helicopter has already completed various weapons firing tests. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by PM Narendra Modi had approved the procurement of 15 indigenously developed Limited Series Production (LSP) LCH at a cost of Rs 3,887 crore. Of these, 10 helicopters were slated to be inducted into the IAF and five are meant for the Indian Army.