The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has successfully test fired Rockets (70 mm) from its prototype, TD-3 in weaponized configuration.
The tests come after the LCH succeed in basic performance flight testing and outstation trials for cold weather, hot weather and hot and high altitude testing in 2015.
T Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL, said:
“The initial rocket firing trials have been carried out at Jaisalmer, establishing satisfactory integration of hardware and software, structural integrity and safe separation of rocket ammunition. Integration of weapons such as Rocket, Turret Gun (20 mm) and Air to Air Missile on LCH will further continue.”
“These trials give us confidence for carrying out certification firing trials planned during Apr-May 2016”, he added.
LCH will participate in IAF’s ‘Iron Fist 2016’ exercise on March 18, 2016.
LCH is a 5.5-ton class, combat helicopter designed and developed by HAL. It is powered by two Shakti engines and inherits many technical features of the Advanced Light Helicopter. It has sleek and narrow fuselage, tri-cycle crashworthy landing gear, crashworthy and self sealing fuel tanks, armor protection, and low visibility features. The first prototype helicopter had its inaugural flight on Mar 23, 2010. The second and third prototype had their first flight on June 28, 2011 and Nov 12, 2014. LCH TD4 completed its maiden flight on December 1, 2015.
The home-grown LCH project is supported by the Indian Air Force. The need for a light attack helicopter was felt after the Kargil War.