Know All About India-Made Attack Gunship

India's indigenously developed attack gunship is capable of destroying enemy air defence, conducting counter-insurgency strikes, and much more. The twin-engine chopper has a maximum range of 550 km. This combat helicopter is capable of carrying insurgency strikes. The Prachand, Light Combat Helicopter, is capable of destroying enemy air defence

New Delhi: In a bid to boost the profile of its combat aviation wing, the Indian Army is looking ahead to procure around 95 Prachand Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) and 110 Light Utility Helicopters (LUH). The move to procure indigenously-built LCHs has been taken to strengthen the security system at high altitudes, as the chopper has better manoeuvrability in mountainous regions. In addition, the purchase of LUHs and LCHs will assist the army in replacing its ageing fleets of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.

Earlier, Indian Air Force inducted four light combat helicopters at the Jodhpur air base on October 3, 2022, in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

What Does Prachand Mean?

Designed, developed and extensively test-flown for over a decade by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), Prachand is the nation’s ingeniously developed Light Combat Helicopter. As per its name, Prachand, which means fierce, this multi-role attack helicopter has been customised as per the requirements of the Indian armed forces to operate both in desert terrains and high-altitude sectors.

Features of Prachand

India’s indigenously developed helicopter can be deployed to assume air defence, anti-tank roles in high-altitude, counter-insurgency, and search and rescue operations.

According to its manufacturer, the aircraft is equipped with advanced technology which can be used to destroy the enemy’s air defence.

Prachand is the only helicopter in the world with the capability to land and take off from an altitude of 5,000 metres with weapons and fuel.

It is a twin-engine, dedicated helicopter of 5.8-tonne class, and so it has been categorised into a light category.

This is a twin-seater helicopter with pilot and co-pilot options, which has also been facilitated to operate weapons in war conditions.

Can Perform In All Weather Conditions

Designed to perform around-the-clock in all-weather combat capability, will help Army in Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), bunker-busting operations, counter-insurgency operations in the jungle and urban areas and support the ground forces.

Weapon Strength

Prachand is capable of firing a range of air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and can destroy air defence operations of the enemy.

The helicopter is equipped with multiple weapons, including a 20 mm nose gun in the front, that is capable of firing 800 rounds per minute with a firing range of up to 2 km; a 70 mm rocket pod mounted on the stub wing, with a direct firing range of up to 4 km and an indirect up to 8 km.

Also, there is an electro-optical pod, installed above Gun, for long-range day and night surveillance and tracking of the target, Anti-tank guided missile ‘Dhruvastra’ and air-to-air missile ‘Mistral-2’ which has a maximum interception range of 6.5 km.

Maximum Speed And Distance of The Chopper

Prachand can fly at a maximum speed of 268 kilometres per hour with a maximum take-off weight of 5.8 tons.

It has a maximum range of 550 kilometres, which means it can cover a maximum distance of 550 km between its take-off and landing.

While the chopper has the maximum density altitude to which it can fly is 6.5 kilometres, it has an endurance of over three hours.

It has a combat radius of 500 km and can go up to a service ceiling of 21,000 feet, making it ideal to operate in Siachen.