BANGALORE: After completion of basic performance flight testing and outstation trials, the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) has now satisfactorily fired Rockets (70 mm) from its prototype, TD-3 in weaponized configuration, a HAL press release 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", said HAL 's CMD T. Suvarna Raju.

"These trials give us confidence for carrying out certification firing trials planned during Apr-May 2016", he said. LCH will participate in IAF's 'Iron Fist 2016' exercise on March 18, 2016.

The LCH TD-3 is integrated with Electo-Optical (EO) System, Solid State Digital Video Recording System (SSDVR) and 70mm Rocket system in conjunction with an updated Glass Cockpit software to cater for rocket firing.

"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. The features that are unique to LCH are sleek and narrow fuselage, tri-cycle crashworthy landing gear, crashworthy and self sealing fuel tanks, armor protection, nuclear and low visibility features which makes the LCH lethal, agile and survivable," said the release.

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.