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The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is poised to greenlight a major deal for the production of 156 Light Combat Helicopters (LCH), named Prachand. This deal, estimated to cost ?45,000 crore, is expected to be presented to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) by late August after the formation of a new central government in mid-June.

Sources within the defence establishment revealed to that the Army and Air Force, which have already inducted a limited series of 15 LCHs, have proposed minor modifications. These modifications include the integration of an autopilot system and a ground collision avoidance system, enhancing safety and operational efficiency.

The Prachand, developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), represents a significant milestone in India’s quest for self-reliance in defence technology. This multi-role combat helicopter is specifically designed to excel in the challenging environments faced by the Indian armed forces, including deserts and high-altitude regions.

The Prachand incorporates advanced technologies that minimize its visual, aural, radar, and infrared signatures, making it a stealthy platform for covert operations. Additionally, its robust crashworthiness features enhance crew safety and survivability in hostile environments.

The LCH is a versatile platform capable of undertaking a broad spectrum of missions, including:
Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR)
Destroying Enemy Air Defenses (DEAD)
Counter-insurgency (CI) operations
Engaging slow-moving aircraft and drones (RPAs)
High-altitude bunker busting
Counter-insurgency operations in diverse terrains (jungles, urban environments)
Providing crucial support to ground forces

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