BANGALORE: The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) indigenously designed and developed by HAL has successfully carried out air to air missile firing on a moving aerial target. During the tests conducted in integrated test range at Chandipur, Odisha recently, the test pilots executed a flawless mission and achieved a direct hit on the aerial target, destroying it completely. 

"This is the first time in the country that a helicopter has carried out air to air missile engagement. None of the helicopters with the military services in the country has demonstrated such a capability. With this, LCH has successfully completed all weapon integration tests and is ready for operational induction", said CMD, HAL, R Madhavan.

Other weapons on LCH include a 20 mm Turret gun and 70 mm Rockets, the firing trials of which have already been completed last year.

LCH is capable of operating at altitudes as high as Siachen glacier. It was designed and developed by Rotary Wing Research & Design Centre (RWRDC) of HAL in response to the operational needs of Indian armed forces.

Equipped with a helmet mounted sight and a forward looking infrared sighting system, LCH pilots can now detect and destroy any target on ground or in the air. Using these sights, pilots can now launch a missile onto any target without having to turn the helicopter. The fire and forget missile is effective against all types of aerial threat, including UAVs and microlight aircraft. It is also capable of operating from dispersed locations and flying at ultra low levels.

The DAC has accorded approval for procurement of initial batch of 15 LCHs (10 for IAF and 5 for Army).