India’s Combat Helicopter Eyes Weapon Firing Trial

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New Delhi: Boosting its war waging capability and enhancing force-multiplier to maintain edge over a pricking Pakistan and an expansionist China, India is all set to focus on indigenous defence production, ndia’s Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) is now eyeing weapon-based trials with its fourth technology demonstrator, TD-4. The weapon firing trials are planned for the middle of 2016.

The LCH is a twin-engine helicopter of 5.8-ton class designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to meet the requirements of Indian defence forces. LCH was proposed to meet IAF’s requirement of a dedicated light helicopter for combat operations.

HAL claims that the LCH is designed to carry out dedicated combat roles such as Air Defence, anti-tank, scout and support combat search/rescue missions. It incorporates a number of stealth features such as reduced visual, aural, radar and infra-red signatures and crashworthy landing gear, armour protection for better survivability. The helicopter is powered by two Shakti engines. There are plans to produce LCH in large numbers to meet the operational requirements.

“TD-4 has been planned to facilitate accelerated weapon flight trials. TD-4 is getting ready and would be available for weapon trials soon,” HAL’s CMD, T Suvarna Raju told Economictimes.com. According to him, the TD-4 has been built as the weight optimised prototype of the LCH, which would be “most suited” for weapon trials.

Further, weapon trials will continue in line with the specific requirement of customers. HAL is pursuing with customers for production orders and induction timelines will dependent on these orders. Suvarana Raju says that enquiries have been received from other countries during this year’s Aero-India.

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