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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.

HAL chairman R Madhavan has told livefistdefence.com that final contract for 15 limited series production (LSP) HAL designed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) multi-role combat helicopter is in the final leg and as soon as the contract is linked, all 15 LCH Helicopters will be delivered by 2021-22 timeframe as HAL already has developed 9 frames of LCH before the contract was inked with its internal fund and assembly and integration work will be completed in next six months and the first batch will be ready to induction by early or mid-2021 onwards.

In 2017, Late Defence Minister Arun Jaitley had inaugurated the new Bengaluru helicopter complex for the production of the indigenous design Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). In 2016, the defence ministry had cleared a Rs 2,911-crore procurement of 15 LCHs as a “limited series production” (LSP) order but the final contract was never executed.

HAL claims that it can manufacture 30 LCH in a year once the contract for 150 LCH is to be inked by the Indian Army and Indian Air Force after the execution of 15 LSP contracts. Indian Army has committed to order 114 LCHs, and the Indian Air Force another 65, which includes 15 LSP LCH which will be ordered soon.

According to information provided to idrw.org, Each LCH costs half the price of AH-64E Apache attack helicopters the Indian Air Force (IAF) has bought from Boeing, US. Like AH-64E, LCH in the production variant will come in Two or three variants both for the air force and Army. Some later variants will come with new indigenous fire control radar which will have several modes and long-range detection capability against the land, air, and sea targets, and come will come without them.

Future and probably last batch of LCH variants will also get a much-needed jolt in capability as LCH crew will be able to control over different armed reconnaissance systems which will be equipped with a two-way data link system so that sensors, flight path, and targets of the armed reconnaissance systems can be monitored by LCH crew flying in the same area away from hostile fire.

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