SOURCE: SATYAJEET KUMAR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Indian Airforce and Indian Army have inducted 8 Prachand that are from the Limited Scale Production (LSP) batch as 7 more will be delivered next year by the HAL, these 15 units will form the bedrock for what this machine will be able to achieve in the next few years, since the platform that is still evolving.
Prachand will start trials with the anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) from next year onwards, ATGMs are often the main weapon system on any Attack Helicopter, and Prachand must get its way before it enters bulk production. India is also developing long-range ATGMs that will allow Prachand enough stand-off range that can ensure its safety and efforts are also being made to get it ready for production soon.
Prachand is equipped with Mistral Air to-Air missile to take down hostile UAS but India will soon also have a local substitute from the DRDO’s MANPAD program that will see an air-to-air missile powered by an infrared seeker.
Air-launched mini-drone program for helicopters like Prachand is also happening. The private sector company is working on the development of mini-drones that can launch from helicopters to find enemy targets, operate under enemy fire, and send instant target coordinates and key surveillance details to human decision-makers. mini-drones will be used for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance missions.
Prachand will be the first attack helicopter that will be getting ALFA-S swarming drones which can be air-launched from its pod and has a range of 100km. Each pod can carry 2 or four ALFA-S and each Prachand will be able to carry two pods that are armed on a dozen Prachand will mean it will take out crucial command posts and other forward positions of the enemy without actually coming too close to its air defense system.
Prachand being made in India will allow Indian designers and engineers far more flexibility to upgrade its armaments and weapon systems with next-gen technology much faster than what Apache can offer. Prachand in the next decade or more will evolve as a much better platform than Apache in terms of technology.
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