Sunday, May 23, 2010

India’s first locally built Light Combat Helicopter made its maiden flight

The first Light Combat Helicopter, indigenously built by India, made its first flight on May 23, 2010, at the HAL airport in Bangalore.

The project was taken up by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in 2006. The helicopter will be introduced in the Army and Air Force in 2014.

IAF Vice Chief, Air Marshal, PK Barbora and Defence Production Secretary, RK Singh were present at the flight display. The helicopter, weighing 5.8 tonnes, showcased its maneuverability and stability.

The helicopter will be used in various anti-terrorism operations.

PK Barbora said, “It is a red letter day for not only HAL, but the whole nation. I am quite positive the aircraft will meet all IAF requirements in this class of helicopters. The first display has been superb."

He said that the helicopter was bulky and heavy but the problem would be solved in as soon as possible.

Mr. Singh referred LCH as a “truly fine” machine. He said that the indigenous development of the helicopter had both economic and strategic reasons.

He said that India spends billions of Rupees every year for importing weapons and defense machineries to arm its forces.

HAL Chairman, Ashok Nayak, said that they have received an order to supply 65 helicopters to the IAF and the Indian army is also showing interest to buy these helicopters for its Army Aviation wing.

Earlier, Hindustan Aeronautics built Dhruv, another helicopter that had been successfully introduced in the Indian armed forces.

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