News Brief

Defence Ministry Initiates The Process Of Buying 156 'Tank-Killer' Prachand Light Combat Helicopters From HAL

Ujjwal Shrotryia

Jun 17, 2024, 05:07 PM | Updated 04:59 PM IST

Light combat helicopter. (Indian Air Force/Twitter)
Light combat helicopter. (Indian Air Force/Twitter)

Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a request for proposal (RFP) to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the acquisition of 156 Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Prachand.

In a filing at National Stock Exchange (NSE), HAL revealed the RFP. Among the 156 Prachand helicopters, 90 are meant for the Indian Army and the rest 66 are for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Both the army and air force already operate 15 limited serial production Prachand combat helicopters (five with the army and 10 with the IAF) in the eastern sector close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) opposite Tibet.

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 LCH is designed and specifically engineered by HAL to operate in high-altitude conditions.

Functioning primarily as a close air support (CAS) aircraft in high-altitude terrain, LCH Prachand excels in roles such as conducting the destruction of enemy air defence (DEAD) missions, executing high-altitude bunker-busting operations, and intercepting slow-moving remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs).

It is 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.

The LCH demonstrated this capability by executing successful landings at forward camps situated in Siachen, at an altitude of 4,700 metres above sea level, while carrying a 500 kg payload.

Armed with Dhruvastra and HELINA missiles, 70 mm rockets, and a 20 mm machine gun, LCH Prachand can destroy all types of heavily defended targets at ranges of more than 10 kilometres.

Staff Writer at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.

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