LCH sea tri­als

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

In­dia’s light com­bat he­li­copter (LCH) is off to a suc­cess­ful start to sea tri­als. The sec­ond pro­to­type of the pro­gramme is now three days into a com­plex list of test­points to be com­pleted over 10 days on the East Coast just out­side Chen­nai. The LCH pro­to­type is be­ing filmed and recorded by an IAF Mi-8 from Ye­la­hanka Air Force Sta­tion. The pi­lots and test team are cur­rently ex­tremely pleased with the he­li­copter’s han­dling and ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity at sea level, since for the last three years, both pro­to­types have been con­fined to al­ti­tudes of 3,000 m and above at Ban­ga­lore.

Sources in­volved with the tri­als said, “The he­li­copter is ma­tur­ing well and prom­ises to be a very good plat­form once ready. We are putting it through the nec­es­sary paces as re­quired by the IAF and by us to bring the plat­form up to ma­tu­rity.” The LCH, yet to be given a for­mal name like the Te­jas or Si­tara, will, later this year, be put through cold and hot weather tri­als, fol­low­ing which it’s first cru­cial weapons tri­als will be­gin. The he­li­copter is expected to de­ploy rocket pods, the HELINA air­launched anti-ar­mour mis­sile and the MBDA Mis­tral air-to-air mis­sile ini­tially, but could be con­fig­ured for other mu­ni­tions as well.

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