Bengaluru: State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) on Friday said it has received a Request for Proposal (RFP) for supply of 15 Light Combat Helicopters from the Indian Air Force and Indian Army.
“We have received a RFP for 15 limited series of LCH from the IAF and Indian Army today (Friday),” said the city-based HAL in a statement here.
The Defence Acquisition Council had in 2016 cleared 10 LCH for the air force and 5 for the army.
Designed and developed by HAL, the 5.5-tonne class chopper is powered by two Shakti aero engines and has many features of the indigenous Advance Light Helicopter (ALH) ‘Dhruv’.
“The LCH has a sleek and narrow fuselage, tri-cycle crashworthy landing gear, self-sealing fuel tanks, armour protection and low visibility that makes it lethal, agile and survivable,” said the statement.
The company has till date built four technology demonstrators of the LCH for flight testing. One of them also landed in forward bases at Siachen, located 5,400 metres above sea level.
“The LCH also participated in the IAF’s ‘Iron Fist’ exercise in March 2016 and displayed its rocket firing capabilities in weaponized configuration,” it said.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was then holding additional charge of Defence, launched the LCH production here on August 26.
The helicopter also has day/night targeting systems for the crew, including the helmet pointed sight and electro-optical pod.
“The LCH is fitted with self-protection suite, comprising radar, laser missile warning systems and counter-measures dispensing system,” said HAL, adding it can conduct operational roles even under adverse weather conditions at different altitudes from sea level, hot weather desert and cold weather.
As a derivative of the ALH platform, the LCH was certified by defence regulator Cemilac on October 16, 2015 after extensive performance trials in all-weather conditions.
Known for its agility, the tandem twin-seat chopper is equipped for day-and-night combat operations, with digital camouflage system for stealth actions.