HAL’S in­dige­nous chop­per en­thrals vis­i­tors at Iron Fist ex­er­cise

SP's MAI - - AEROSPACE -

Af­ter en­thralling thou­sands of avi­a­tion en­thu­si­asts in Aero In­dia 2013, In­dia’s first in­dige­nously de­signed and devel­oped light com­bat heli­copter (LCH) by the Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Lim­ited (HAL) demon­strated its prow­ess in the Iron Fist ex­er­cise of the In­dian Air Force (IAF) at Pokhran.

The first pro­to­type of LCH pi­loted by HAL’s Chief Test Pi­lot Wg. Cdr (Retd) Unni Pil­lai, and Group Cap­tain (Retd) Hari Nair was flown at Jaisalmer as the Pres­i­dent, the Prime Min­is­ter and other dig­ni­taries watched the ma­noeu­vres.

“It is a mat­ter of pride for us to have HAL im­print at this big­gest ex­er­cise of the In­dian Air Force”, said Dr R.K. Tyagi, Chair­man, HAL.

LCH has the ca­pa­bil­ity for tar­get de­tec­tion and ac­qui­si­tion in all weather con­di­tions fa­cil­i­tated by an ad­vanced sen­sor suite con­sist­ing of day and night sen­sors (CCD cam­era, FLIR, laser des­ig­na­tor and range finder). The LCH will be armed with an ar­ray of long-reach weapons. The M621 20mm can­non, which is known for its ac­cu­racy and high muz­zle ve­loc­ity, is mounted on a chin tur­ret and is sle­w­able with ei­ther pi­lot’s hel­met mounted sight­ing sys­tem, giv­ing the ca­pa­bil­ity to look and fire at tar­gets around the air­craft. The 68mm rock­ets can be fired at tar­gets up to six kilo­me­tres even if not within the line-of-sight. Mis­tral-II air-to-air mis­siles and air-to-ground mis­siles can take on ae­rial and ground tar­gets re­spec­tively.

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