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.

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