In a message to the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), the Indian Army's light combat helicopter (LCH) Prachand squadron has conducted inaugural test firing of its 70 mm rockets and 20 mm nexter turret gun.
According to reports, this test firing was carried out by the LCH squadron based at the Missamari station in Assam.
The Indian Army announced on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) that "the inaugural firing of 70mm rocket and 20mm turret guns of Light Combat Helicopter LCH Prachand, was successfully executed, both by day & night."
Lt Gen AK Suri, DG Army Aviation, witnessed the firing from the leading helicopter of the three attack helicopter formation for real-time validation of the armament capability of the LCH Squadron.
The LCH squadron, designated as 351 Army Aviation (AA), was inducted into the Missamari station in late 2022 and operates five LCH Prachand attack helicopters.
The Indian armed forces, including the army and air force, have previously ordered 15 limited series production (LSP) LCH Prachand attack helicopters. Ten LCHs were inducted by the Indian Air Force (IAF), and the remaining five were inducted by the army.
IAF and army are looking to buy 156 additional LCH Prachand helicopters, from which 90 are intended for the army and the rest 66 for the IAF.
These LCH Prachand helicopters, based in Missamari, are primarily intended to counter any potential Chinese aggression in the northeastern sector, ranging from Sikkim to Arunachal Pradesh.
The Indian and Chinese PLA armies have been in a standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) since the clashes at Galwan Valley in June 2020. The standoff has now entered its fourth year.
Functioning primarily as a close air support (CAS) aircraft in high-altitude terrain, LCH Prachand excels in roles such as conducting destruction of enemy air defense (DEAD) missions, executing high-altitude bunker-busting operations, and intercepting slow-moving remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs).
It stands as the only helicopter in the world with the capability to operate at altitudes above 5,000 to 6,000 metres while carrying a substantial offensive payload.
It holds the distinction of executing successful landings at forward camps situated at Siachen, an altitude of 4,700 metres above sea level, while carrying a 500 kg payload.
The LCH can carry 70mm unguided rockets, laser-guided rockets, anti-tank guided missiles, air-to-air missiles, and a 20mm machine gun.
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