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India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has completed delivery of the 15 Limited Series Production (LSP) Light Combat Helicopters (LCH Prachand) to the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Army Aviation (AAC). These helicopters will be used for extensive evaluation purposes before HAL secures a major production contract.

HAL aims to acquire a contract for 145 LCH Prachands from both the IAF and AAC. To secure this deal, they have been tasked with swiftly integrating Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) and incorporating user-suggested minor modifications to increase firepower.

The IAF and AAC have already strategically deployed their LSP variants. The IAF’s Prachands are stationed near the Indo-Pakistani border in Jodhpur, while the AAC utilizes them just 250 km from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Missamari, Assam.

Looking ahead, HAL is exploring additional capabilities for the LCH Prachand, including:

  • Tube-launched Loitering Munitions: Integrating these precision attack systems for enhanced offensive capabilities.
  • 20mm Cannon Turret: Integrating a Locally developed turret-mounted cannon system developed by ARDE for increased firepower.
  • Air-to-Air Variant of VSHORADS: Developing an air-to-air Very Short-Range Air Defence System Variant for comprehensive self-defence.

The LCH Prachand represents a significant step towards the indigenous development of advanced attack helicopters for India’s defence needs. Successful integration of the proposed enhancements and securing a major production contract will mark a crucial milestone in the program’s journey.

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