New Delhi: Indian Army has successfully carried out the inaugural firing of 70mm rocket and 20mm turret guns of light combat helicopter (LCH) Prachand. Sources in the defence and security establishment told Defence Watch that the first LCH squadron of the Army, based out of Missamari station, carried out the firing from air force station Likabali in Arunachal Pradesh.
“The inaugural firing of 70 mm rocket and 20mm turret guns of Light Combat Helicopter #LCH Prachand, was successfully executed, both by day & night. Lt Gen AK Suri, DG Army Aviation witnessed the firing from the leading helicopter of the three attack helicopter formation for real-time validation of the Armament capability of an LCH Squadron,” a defence ministry department stated on social media.
The Prachand Is India’s first indigenous multi-role combat helicopter, developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It is designed to meet the needs of the Indian armed forces operating in deserts and mountainous areas.
The helicopter is fitted with Shakti Engine, which is co-developed by HAL and France’s Safran. The helicopter received operational clearance in 2017.
The helicopter can carry out activities such as Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Destruction of Enemy Air Defence (DEAD), operations against slow-moving aircraft and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs), high-altitude bunker busting operations, counter-insurgency operations in the jungle and urban environments and provide support to ground forces.
A 5.8-tonne class combat helicopter, the Prachand can fly at a maximum speed of 288 kmph and has a combat radius of 500 km, which can go up to a service ceiling of 21,000 feet.
The helicopter will be equipped with Helina missiles, the air force version of which is called Dhruvastra.
The Army had inducted its first LCH on 29 September, 2022.