HAL LCH is a light combat helicopter which is developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) INDIGENOUSLY .It is primarily being developed for INDIAN ARMY AND INDIAN AIR FORCE.
WHY IS A COMBAT HELICOPTER REQUIRED ?
During KARGIL WAR the INDIAN ARMY realised that the combat helicopters which it was operating were not suitable for operating at such high altitudes .Russian made attack helicopters like MI-35 etc were not capable of flying at suck altitudes and hence they could not be used .So to provide ground assistance to soldiers and destroy the enemy occupied bunkers army planned to use MI-17 helicopter equipped with basic weapons but as it is not as agile and good as a dedicated attack helicopter it was shot down.
If army had a dedicated attack helicopter during KARGIL it could have easily destroyed enemy held positions and the loss of INDIAN SOLDIERS could have been minimised so keeping this in mind army started LCH(LIGHT COMBAT HELICOPTER) project for development of a light ,agile and a dedicated attack helicopter which can operate at such high altitudes in which other helicopters can not even fly .
HAL LCH is also derived from HAL DHRUV but unlike HAL RUDRA it is a dedicated attack helicopter.The amazing thing about LCH is that even when its the first ever dedicated attack helicopter developed by India but still the development programme cost of LCH is 376 crore (US$55.9 million),which is very less compared to the development cost of any other attack helicopter.
MAKING OF LCH-
The LCH project was started in 2006 & seeing the requirement the funds for project were sanctioned in the same year.The Indian Air Force is to acquire 65 LCHs and Indian Army is to acquire 114 LCHs and this is because the role of combat aircrafts is to provide assistance to ground troops and for protection of high value targets or assets.
The cold weather trials of the LCH were carried out at Air Force Station, Leh in early 2015. The engine starts were satisfactory in the temperature of -18 °C at 4.1 km altitude & in JUNE 2015
LCH successfully completed hot weather flight trials at Jodhpur with temperatures from 39 to 42 °C.
The LCH completed basic performance flight testing, outstation trials, and prototype TD-3 fired 70 mm rockets in its weaponized configuration.It was one of the highlights of IRON FIST 2016 where it destroyed the dummy targets with its 70 mm rockets.
BASIC DESIGN OVERVIEW -
The LCH design features a narrow fuselage with stealth profiling, armour protection, and will be equipped to conduct day-and-night combat operations.It has a crew of 2 (a pilot and a weapon operator) and the seating is TANDEM seating(two pilots in the LCH sit one behind the other) .
Prasad Sampath, general manager of HAL's Rotary Wing Research & Design Centre, told the press during Aero India 2011 that the LCH is "probably the most agile design in the world because of its rotor".
It is a 5.5 ton attack helicopter and is designed in such a way that the survivability of the crew is ensured with features like tri-cycle crash-worthy landing gear, crash-worthy and self-sealing fuel tanks, armour protection.
AVIONICS AND COCKPIT-
It has a glass cockpit with multi-functional displays and a Front Looking Infrared Sensor & target acquisition system .
It can be operated day or night in all weather conditions and can perform its task in harshest of conditions like in SIACHEN which is the world's highest battleground.
IT IS THE ONLY COMBAT HELICOPTER WHICH HAS EVER LANDED IN SIACHEN WITH A CONSIDERABLE LOAD AND IT CAN OPERATE AT SIACHEN WHERE NO OTHER COMBAT HELICOPTER CAN OPERATE .
The helicopter is to be fitted with a data link for network-centric operations facilitating the transfer of mission data to the other airborne platforms and ground stations operating in the network.
LCH can be fitted with any type of armaments from rocket pods to air to air missiles , air to land missiles or anti-tank or anti-armour missiles .
- Crew: 2
- Length: 15.8 m (51 ft 8 in)
- Rotor diameter: 13.3 m (43 ft 6 in)
- Height: 4.7 m (15 ft 4 in)
- Disc area: 136.85 m² (1,472 ft²)
- Max. takeoff weight: 5,800 kg (12,787 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × HAL/Turbomeca Shakti turboshaft, 1,067 kW each
- Never exceed speed: 330 km/h (207 mph)
- Maximum speed: 280 km/h (167 mph)
- Range: 700 km or 342 mi
- Service ceiling: 6,500 m (21,300 ft)
- Disc loading: 39.59 kg/m² (8.23 lb/ft²)
- Power/mass: 327 W/kg (0.198 hp/lb)
COMPARING LCH WITH OTHER WORLD CLASS COMBAT HELICOPTERS-
In reality comparing LCH with other helicopters will not be appropriate as it is designed to operate in such altitudes where no other combat aircraft can operate .It has a service ceiling which no other combat helicopter can achieve and it can operate with a considerable loads at height where other might not even be able to fly.
|LCH VS OTHERS (PAYLOAD AND ROC )|
THE LCH IS SO CAPABLE THAT IT IS DESIRED BY MANY NATIONS LIKE JAPAN , AFRICAN NATIONS ETC . JAPAN WHO IS A LONG TIME USER OF AMERICAN APACHE HELICOPTERS IS NOW SHOWING KEEN INTERESTS IN LCH.
ALSO LCH IS VERY VERY CHEAP COMPARED TO OTHER FOREIGN ATTACK HELICOPTERS AND COST JUST ABOUT 135 CRORE RUPEES WHICH IS NEARLY 1/4rth OF THE COST OF AMERICAN APACHE ATTACK HELICOPTER.
IT HAS A FURTHER SCOPE OF DEVELOPMENT AND IT CAN MATURE MUCH MORE SO IT IS A VERY DESIRED PLATFORM & ITS AGILITY AND ABILITY TO FLY HIGH MAKES IT A ONE OF A KIND ATTACK HELICOPTER .