HAL LCH (link to original) the homegrown attack helicopter's final configuration has now been frozen and HAL has confirmed that the TD-4 configuration has been selected as the final configuration.

Till now HAL was extensively testing the 4 prototypes of the homegrown chopper. The weapons integration is being done and til now HAL has successfully integrated LCH with several weapons like Mistral air to air missiles, 70 mm rockets and state of the art Electronic suit. According to HAL officials, LCH is currently being integrated with Anti Tank guided missiles or ATGM. Currently it is being integrated with various missiles and later it will be integrated with homegrown HELINA ATGM  which is under development.
The LCH is armed with various weapons as shown in the image below(many being integrated with helicopter).

Till now HAl has tested the various prototypes of LCH for various conditions including hot and cold & high altitude conditions.

HAL LCH is specially designed for high altitude warfare and has the unprecedented capabilities to be able to operate at high altitudes. It is also the only attack helicopter in the world which has landed at Siachen with considerable payload. It holds the world record for flight ceiling.

 HAL LCH limited series production has now started and the aim is to make about 5 helicopters this year. The rate of production is kept low currently.

Even when Indian Army Aviation Corps (IAAC) has presented a need for about 114 LCH and IAf for about 65 LCH, the initial production rate is low because no contract has been signed for the helicopter with armed forces till now, although the MOD & DAC has cleared the production of 15 LCH in November last year ( MOD CLEARS ACQUISITION WORTH 82000 crore INR RS ).

MY OPINION - I think in near future we might see fixed orders from IA and IAF for LCH. also other than the projected requirement of 114 from IAAC and 65 from IAF we might see a follow back order (mostly from IACC) as MOD has planned making attack helicopters part of every Army Aviation  Corps so the order from IA may grow upto 150 to 200 LCH.

Apart from Indian Armed forces there are several nations which have shown interest in LCH like Japan etc so it has a tremendous potential for exports too.


  1. My opinion is that, and not only LCH, that Gunship-choppers are an aberration coming from the fact US-Army was mostly forbidden to operate fixed wing aircraft. My definition of what should be a really serious machine for air support : by doing things this way, you replace A-10/Su-25, any gunship chopper, AC-130 becomes an aberration and moreover, it'd be cheap to buy/use

    - This shall be some kind a stretched Bronco on steroids! STOL/rugged-terrain capabilities of the Bronco shall be maintained. Folding wings shall be considered. It shall also be operable from ships like the 199m Mistral-class of LHDs without any catapult, ski-jump or arrestor cable. May be around the A-10 size. Note that the 26,5t MTOW Bréguet 941s was able to take off in 185m and land in 120m in 1961 with 4x1500HP.
    - Have the Army and USMC operate these, not USAF!
    - You remember the YOV-10D with the underbelly 3 barrelled 20mm Gatling?
    Let's have 2x30mm turrets with Nexter 30M791 (2500RPM, 120kg) and 3000 shells in the "cargo bay" (the 30M791 shells weights .275kg=>825kg)
    - A-10 flies 706km/h. A version of Tu-95 flies +900km/h. Not a problem to be faster than A-10 with turboprops
    - Shall be able to loiter 6-8-10 hours on a single engine which should be able to drive both propellers.
    - Preferably able to run on diesel mogas if necessary.
    - Engines exhausts should better be placed over-wing to reduce direct sighting from the ground with IR-seeker.
    - Must be able to take serious Gs and manoeuvre
    - Maintenance must be as easy as possible, even made by conscripts with basic tools
    - LOGIR rocket-guidance kit ($5k) shall be rebooted and preferably adapted to CRV7 ($2.3k) and Zuni or Russian S-13. Pods of 32xguided CRV7 should be created with Matra's JL-100 in mind : the pod continues in a fuel tank. 6 of these pods should be the basic armament, the fuel-tank part helping the long loitering time.
    - 2 other hard-points for i.e a MER for 6xSDB-II/KAB-100/Mk-81 or (more) XM395 guided mortar shell ($10k) used as guided bomb, 1-2 pods for Zunis or S-13. 2 wingtip and 2 overwing hardpoints may be considered to fit AAMs (Sidewinder, Mica-IR, ASRAAM, maybe 2-3 ManPADS could be fit per AAM hardpoint?)
    - It's clear that many other armaments may be integrated.
    - ECMs/DIRCM/sensors to prevent from M-PADS and other missile threats, the guns may be consider for CIWS use if necessary. Ejector seats have to be there too.
    - Cockpit and engines shall be armoured. There may be lighter things than titanium (ceramics?), thus, being able to take some 23mm AP shells should be the target. the skin of the plane could be made by multiple layers of kevlar, self-sealing tanks should also be considered.
    - A targetting system like Russian SVP-24 shall be considered (allows precision strikes without guided bombs). The onboard ballistic computer should allow high accuracy be it with the gun or with unguided rockets : CRV7 are reputed even as, if not more accurate than using an onboard gun at higher distance. Guided LOGIR-CRV7 may be more useful to go after moving vehicles. It may not be economically interesting to only use PGMs if some targetting system allows serious accuracy with "dumb" ammos.
    - Fixed refuelling probe, Rafale style

    1. I agree that a slow flying CGS capable fighter like A10 warthog is what is ideal for the roleand A10 can take heavy hits like no other.

      Yes IA should see that in future it gets something like su25 or A10, but we also need LCH.

      A10 is great at open fields and dessert but will it be able to be as effective at high altitude mountain like terrain and in siachen where it won't get to attack from any side as most sides are blocked.

      ATM lch is Abigail leap for India as it can easily be operated by IAAC and we don't need IAF to operate them for IA. Yes I would love an A10 with that huge gattling gun.

      Once lch is developed we can develop bigger and heavier attack heli in future too.

    2. For those who don't know what the Bronco was :
      Thus, the idea is to bring things further.
      Aerodynamics/drag etc could surely be greatly improved compared to the 60's.
      As it'd be bigger and the payload would visibly be around 4-5 tons, just think modular : the center fuselage may be removable.
      There was an OV-10T cargo version of Bronco proposed.
      So, proposing a cargo option could also enter the civilian market.
      This may carry about 24-26 passengers and due to STOL capabilities, well, C-2 Greyhound carries 26 passengers for a 4536kg payload.
      An E-2 styled "AWACS" module could also be considered as much as other functions.
      A BRS (ballistic recovery system) and even some kind of inflatable buoys could be considered to save the plane/crew in case of problem, could even be doubled in the module in case of really serious problem and the wing-attached BRS fail.
      An optionally added jet engine may be available too:
      The speed and the STOL capabilities with a long range could draw great interest, especially as it shall be made economical to use and very safe.

      Nevertheless, the combat version with the 'basic' arsenal would have the capability to stay out of harm's way (normally : small arms, AA-guns, M-PADS) or take hits in case of low altitude runs. Can also being used as basic trainer. You don't need the skills of a chopper pilot/jet pilot for a dual prop, far from it.
      I estimate that 65 like these being permanently in the air would enforce a no drive zone with response in seconds to call for air support over a 10,000km² area. 2 modernised Broncos have proved a 99% availability in Iraq for an hourly cost of less than $1k/h.
      Even being made more powerful than OV-10G would be no match for any strike aircraft/gunship chopper, hourly cost wouldn't probably exceed $1.5k-2k/h and it may fly enough fast to be used in a strike pack
      A much bigger/heavier than this Antonov An-32 has a $15M flyaway cost, so is the Yak-130 advertised price.
      If we consider most of the actual war-zones (Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, etc etc etc), all these conflicts are on an asymmetric warfare pattern and all totally stall by lack of effective air support. Using aircraft or even choppers with several dozens of millions $ costs, +$100k bombs or missiles etc to take our some Toyota HiLux armed with a KPV/ZU-23-2 with 3 enturbanned sand-niggers in sandals and AK-47 is simply ridiculous. At worst there may be some BMP or T-72 around, nothing a CRV7 can't take care of and if smth more serious was fielded, one in the tracks would immobilise and a 100kg guided bomb would finish the job while not many wall may sustain a 30mm shell and you can always call a jet to take care of a bunker and, the principle being to have several in the area, some bunker would be difficult to flee. With some SLAR/JSTARS and ELINT/COMINT/SIGINT around added to EOTS/FLIR onboard, such a fleet would be a serious issue to everything al-Qaeda/ISIS related while not useless at all for more classical operations and a single airframe being able to carry different pods would make it relevant even for a civilian government use if there is no military action to be taken for years.

    3. Yes yes mate I know about Bronco. It's a good idea in my opinion to convert it but I literally don't understand about replacing the A10 with f35 lol.

      Yes yak-130 for Russia is good as a small blasting package but u should also check HAL COMBAT HAWK which HAL has specifically upgraded for combat and it can not just do air to ground but limited air to air warfare too. Combat hawk has radar, data link and all essentials of a combat jet and is ass cheap compared to fighter jet in both buying and operating costs.

      In my opinion the future of warfare is not in one big ass machine but a pack of small machines.


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