LCH TD3 makes a maiden flight
The light combat helicopter (LCH) technology demonstrator (TD-3) made the successful maiden flight here recently. “Escorted by a Dhruv helicopter, the entire flight was flawless. It will be an effective weapon platform to deliver precision strikes at high altitude and we are confident it will meet the requirements of the IAF”, said Dr R.K. Tyagi, Chairman of, the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). “We are making all efforts to achieve the initial operational clearance (IOC) by September next year”, he added.
In all HAL is expected to produce/manufacture 179 LCH for Indian defence forces. The flight was piloted by Wg Cdr Unni Pillai and co-piloted by Group Captain S.H.K. Nair. It took off at 1520 hours and flew for 20 minutes.
The scope of this project covers design and development of two technology demonstrators, one full scale mock-up, one break away fuselage (BAF) and IOC.
During development of LCH, HAL Board sanctioned LCH related projects, namely, Modified Rotor System, Manufacturing of TD-3 & TD-4 for acceleration of development flight-testing, indigenous development of integrated avionics and display system (lADS) & automatic flight control system (AFCS) in order to reduce the dependency on foreign vendors and develop indigenous technology.
Breakaway fuselage of LCH was built and limit load testing was completed successfully in October 2012. LCH-TD-1 was first flown on March 29, 2010, and LCH-TD-2 was flown on June 28, 2011. Together TD-1 & TD-2, LCH has flown for 388 flights (285:10 hours).
For better planning, execution and monitoring of the project leading to enhancement of number of flights to achieve milestones of cold weather trials, hot weather trials and weapon firing trials, HAL Board had sanctioned manufacturing of TD-3 and TD-4.