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Light Combat Helicopter carries out air-to-air missile firing, achieves first such feat in India

ANI | Updated: Jan 17, 2019 18:17 IST

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], Jan 17 (ANI): India's indigenously-designed-and-developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) has successfully carried out air-to-air missile firing, marking a first for the country and demonstrating its readiness for operational induction.
Designed and developed by the public sector entity Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in response to the operational needs of the Indian Air Force, the capabilities of the LCH far exceed that of contemporary attack helicopters of its class, according to officials.
"During the tests conducted at integrated test range, Chandipur, Odisha recently, Wg Cdr Subash P John, VM (Retd), test pilot, Col Ranjit Chitale, (Retd), Flight Test Engineer from HAL and Gp Capt Rajeev Dubey, test pilot from the IAF, executed a flawless mission and achieved a direct hit on the aerial target, destroying it completely," HAL spokesperson Gopal Sutar said in a press release.
"This is the first time in the country that a helicopter has carried out air-to-air missile engagement. None of the helicopters with the military services in the country has demonstrated such a capability," HAL chief R Madhavan said.
"With this, LCH has successfully completed all weapon integration tests and is ready for operational induction," Madhavan added.
Capable of operating from dispersed locations and flying at ultra-low levels, LCH can now effectively provide a protective umbrella from all aerial threats.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has accorded approval for procurement of initial batch of 15 LCHs, 10 for IAF and 5 for the Army.
The LCH is the only attack helicopter in the world capable of operating at altitudes as high as Siachen glacier, the HAL claims.
Equipped with Helmet mounted sight and a forward-looking infrared sighting system, LCH pilots can now detect and destroy any target on the ground or in the air.
Using these sights, pilots can now launch a missile onto any target without having to turn the helicopter. The fire and forget missile is effective against all types of aerial threat including UAVs and microlight aircraft.
Other weapons on the LCH include a 20mm Turret gun and 70 mm Rockets, the firing trials of which were completed last year. (ANI)