Indian state-owned aircraft manufacturer, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has opened a new Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) production hangar at the HAL Helicopter Division in Bengaluru, Karnataka on Feb. 27.
The production hangar was inaugurated by the Indian Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh.
During the ceremony, Rajnath Singh commended HAL for being the backbone of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and meeting the requirements of the Armed Forces.
“The HAL has excelled both in operations and finance in the last five years. It has achieved operational clearance on seven platforms, including Light Combat Aircraft and Light Combat Helicopter, and overhauled platforms like Hawk and SU 30 MKI”, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman and Managing Director of HAL R. Madhavan said that the LCH is completely ready for operational induction and the Helicopter Complex is fully geared up for its production. He added that the new production hangar will augment the LCH production capacity to reach peak production of 30 helicopters per year.
LCH is a 5.5-tonne class combat helicopter designed and developed by HAL’s Rotary Wing Research & Design Centre (RWRDC). It is powered by two HAL/Turbomeca Shakti (Safran Ardiden) turboshaft engines and inherits many technical features of the Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). LCH has the distinction of being the first attack helicopter to land in Forward Bases at Siachen, 4,700 meters above sea level with 500kg load.
HAL also apprised the Defence Minister on the progress of the new design and development programme for indigenous Indian Multi Role Helicopter (IMRH). The IMRH is proposed as a replacement to the existing medium-lift helicopters such as Mi-17’s, Kamovs and Seakings which will phase out in the next 8-10 years.