After the successful induction of the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) 'Prachand' into its fleet on October 3, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning to induct women officers to fly these choppers.

"Women officers will be inducted into the fleet of Light Combat Helicopters", IAF officials told India Today.

The lady officers already flying the Advanced Heavy Lifter (ALH) helicopters are being identified for induction into the fleet, they said.

An indigenous-built Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) 'Prachand' was inducted into the Indian Air Force at Jodhpur airbase in the presence of Defence minister Rajnath Singh, CDS General Anil Chauhan and IAF chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari.

The defence minister named the helicopter "Prachand" (fierce) and said the platform, capable of operating day and night, will add a significant edge to the IAF's combat capabilities as it can hit enemy targets with precision. Singh, who also flew the LCH, said it could operate in all possible conditions and was among the best globally in its class.

The LCH is a dedicated combat helicopter designed and developed indigenously in India, manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

According to HAL, the light combat helicopter is the only attack helicopter in the world that can land and take off at an altitude of 5,000 metres (16400 ft) with a considerable load of weapons and fuel, meeting the specific requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.

The induction of the chopper comes at a time India and China are locked in a military stand-off at certain friction points in eastern Ladakh.

The helicopter is equipped with the requisite agility, manoeuvrability, extended range, high-altitude performance and around-the-clock, all-weather combat capability.

It would be a potent platform to meet the operational requirements of the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army.

The helicopter can also be deployed in high-altitude bunker-busting operations, counter-insurgency operations in the jungles and urban environments, and for supporting ground forces.

The helicopter can also be used against slow-moving aircraft and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs) of adversaries.