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Date: Sep 17, 2010
India's Light Combat Helicopter (LCH)
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I know its months old but I thought it was worth mentioning.





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Date: Sep 17, 2010
RE: India's Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) flies for the first time
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Indias Light Combat Helicopter makes first flight


by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 31st March 2010

As the helicopter taxied slowly along the airstrip, a little knot of designers and executives from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) watched silently, the sweat beads on their foreheads from more than just the Bangalore heat. The 29th of March, had been selected for a landmark attempt: the first flight of the indigenous Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). Already a year late, and facing criticism for having gone several hundred kilograms overweight, the LCH had much to prove.

Attack helicopters involve the most complex aeronautical, stealth, sensor and weapons technologies. HALs state-of-the-art LCH aims to gatecrash an exclusive club of light attack helicopters that includes Eurocopters Tiger and Chinas ultra-secret Zhisheng-10 (Z-10). In high-altitude performance, the LCH will be in a class by itself: taking off from Himalayan altitudes of 10,000 feet, operating rockets and guns up to 16,300 feet, and launching missiles at UAVs flying at over 21,000 feet.

At 3.30 p.m. the twin Shakti engines roared to a crescendo and the LCH pilots, Group Captains Unni Pillai and Hari Nair, lifted off the ground. The futuristic helicopter, all angles and armoured sheets, flew for a distance just a few feet above the runway; then cheering and clapping broke out as it climbed to 50 feet. Over the next 15 minutes, Pillai and Nair put the LCH through its first flight test, doing a clockwise and then an anti-clockwise turn, hovering motionless and circling the airport four times.

It is a big day for all of us, especially those involved in the LCHs design and fabrication, Ashok Nayak, Chairman and Managing Director of HAL told Business Standard. We were going to have the first LCH flight in December but, for one reason or another, it kept getting delayed.

A feared predator in the modern battlefield, the attack helicopter is a key weapon system against enemy tanks. Once an enemy tank column is detected, attack helicopters speed to confront them, flying just 20-30 feet high to avoid radar detection with enemy rifle and machine-gun bullets ricocheting off their armoured sides. Hiding behind trees or a ridgeline, they pop up when the tanks are about 4 kilometers away to fire missiles that smash through a tanks armour.

Excess weight has been the main reason for the delay in the LCH programme. The heavy armour needed for protection against enemy fire conflicts with the need for a light, highly mobile helicopter that can twist and dodge and hover stationary to allow pilots to aim and fire their missiles. The LCH was supposed to weight just 2.5 tonnes when empty; but the design team found that it actually weighed 580 kg more than that.

At lower altitudes, this would not be a significant drawback. But, at the LCHs flight ceiling of 6000 metres (almost 20,000 feet), this would significantly reduce the LCHs payload of weapons and ammunition.

Last September, the chief of HALs Helicopter Complex, R Srinivasan, told Business Standard that the LCHs weight would be progressively reduced over the first three Technology Demonstrators (TDs) of the LCH. We will find ways of cutting down TD-1 by 180-200 kg; TD-2, will be another 100 kg lighter; and TD-3 will shave off another 65-75 kg. That would leave the LCH about 200 kg heavier than originally planned, but the IAF has accepted that.

HAL chief, Ashok Nayak, today confirmed to Business Standard that this schedule was on track. The weight reduction that we had targeted for TD-1, which flew on Monday, has been met. The second prototype, TD-2, which will make its first flight by September, will be lighter still.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has said that it needs 65 LCHs; the army wants another 114. If the development programme is not delayed further the LCH will enter service by 2015-2016. To meet its needs till then, the MoD floated a global tender for 22 attack helicopters. With only three companies responding, that tender was cancelled last year.

But HAL remains confident since most of the key technologies in the LCH --- e.g. the Shakti engine, the rotors and the main gearbox --- have already been proven in the Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), 159 of which are being built for the army and the air force.

Simultaneously, the LCHs weapons and sensors are being tested on a weaponised version of the Dhruv. These include a Nexter 20 mm turret-mounted cannon, an MBDA air-to-air missile, and an EW suite from SAAB, South Africa. Indias Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) is developing an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) for the LCH. Based on the already developed Nag ATGM, the HELINA (or HELIicopter-mounted NAg) missile can destroy tanks from a distance of seven kilometres.


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Date: Sep 17, 2010
India's Light Combat Helicopter (LCH)
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Interesting thing, it seems the configuration we see flying was originally in model form at Paris Air Show in June 2001 back when it was known as the LAH (light attack helicopter). I recall them abandoning the original idea and going for the smaller concept with the Dhruv airframe, in which a full-scale mockup was made (see attachment). But it looks like they went for the original design after all.



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Veteran Member - Level 3

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Date: Nov 16, 2010
RE: India's Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) flies for the first time
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...

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You can really see the difference in the design compared to the mock-up in Stingray's post.

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Date: Nov 16, 2010
India's Light Combat Helicopter (LCH)
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Pepper wrote:

You can really see the difference in the design compared to the mock-up in Stingray's post.


 

Lightly, still looks pretty similar. The nose is longer and the co.ckpit is smoother, also the Dhruv airframe doesn't stand out as much as it did in the first mockup.



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Date: Nov 20, 2010
India's Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) flies for the first time
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I forgot the source for this but I think it was Flight International.

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Date: Feb 13, 2011
India's Light Combat Helicopter (LCH)
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...



-- Edited by Leela25 on Wednesday 7th of January 2015 03:52:57 AM

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Date: Feb 13, 2011
RE: India's Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) flies for the first time
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Cant get the bigger pics.

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LCH weapon trials should be completed in six months.

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http://ibnlive.in.com/news/aero-india-indias-indigenous-combat-chopper/143175-3.html

Bangalore: This is the light combat helicopter, India's first indigenously made attack gunship. This Aero Show is the first time it's been shown off to the world media. It's a rare machine, one that can fly and attack even at the heights of Siachen Glacier.

Wing Commander Unni Pillai, Chief Test Pilot, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited said, "The need for such a craft was first felt in Kargil. None of the copters we had could fly at such heights. So we decided to design and build our own machine for our unique needs."

Flight Engineer, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Wing Commander KR Ajayaraj said, "This is the only machine that can fly from sea level to more than six kilometers height. Operates between -30 to 55 degrees centigrade. Is very hard to find a machine that operates across such wide ranges of conditions."

The Light Combat Helicopter or LCH does what fighter jets can't. Hover over and identify camouflaged tanks and bunkers before destroying them. It's much lighter than international counterparts, is hard to spot on the radar and packs deadly firepower.

Wing Commander Unni Pillai, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited said, "Feel tremendous pride in flying something that was made in India. Only 3 or four countries have the capacity to produce gunships. We are one of them. That makes me proud."

Two pilots control the LCH, one to navigate, the other to fire weapons. It can fly at night and transmit war zone videos to its base station. Plus, it's extremely agile in the air.

The LCH is another proud demonstration of India's confidence in designing our own defence hardware. When it is handed over to the army in 2013, it'll strike terror into the hearts of anyone who tries to attack us in the Himalayas.




-- Edited by Air_Gopher on Sunday 13th of February 2011 10:13:49 PM

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Topic renamed.

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Date: Feb 14, 2011
RE: India's Light Combat Helicopter (LCH)
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Love this helicopter! The perfect competitor to China's Z-10! biggrin



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Unknown sources.



-- Edited by Air_Gopher on Thursday 24th of February 2011 08:57:19 PM



-- Edited by Leela25 on Wednesday 7th of January 2015 03:56:42 AM

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Date: Feb 24, 2011
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Oh what's this I see in pic 2? They're considering some little changes?

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Makes sense especially since the aircraft is almost ready for service, just need to fulfil some more little military requirements.



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Should be in service by 2013.

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Date: Feb 24, 2011
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Hell, looks like it's ready NOW.



-- Edited by Leela25 on Wednesday 7th of January 2015 03:57:39 AM

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Nice digital camo scheme. thumbsup.gif



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supermaneuvarable wrote:

Makes sense especially since the aircraft is almost ready for service, just need to fulfil some more little military requirements.


 

Or just general flight requirements. The poor thing would suffer from drag from exposed fixed landing gear, so the fairings should give it more agility.



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All of which will come in handy in air-to-air 'situations'. It looks like some extensions and anhedral are being added to the wings to eliminate lateral roll shuold it increase speed in mid flight.

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...



-- Edited by Leela25 on Wednesday 7th of January 2015 03:58:25 AM

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Yummy biggrin



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Production version or another prototype?

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-airfoil- wrote:

Production version or another prototype?



Lack of the proposed fairngs suggest a prototype.



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--Added attachments [Stingray]



-- Edited by Stingray on Sunday 13th of March 2011 11:33:11 PM



-- Edited by Leela25 on Wednesday 7th of January 2015 03:59:01 AM

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Date: Mar 16, 2011
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No source sorry:

A year after this new helicopter made its first flight, the Indian Air Force has ordered 65 Indian made Light Combat Helicopters (LCH). These will begin arriving next year, when the LCH becomes operational. LCH is a 5.7 ton helicopter gunship that cruises at 260 kilometers an hour and has a max speed of 275. Endurance is about five hours per sortie and max altitude is 5,500 meters (17,000 feet). There is a crew of two, with armament of a 20mm autocannon and about 2.5 tons of rockets, bombs and missiles. Electronics carried will allow for night attack operations.

There are two prototypes of the LCH, and two more under construction. These four aircraft will be used to complete development work. The twin-engine LCH is similar to twin engine version of the AH-1 (like the U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z) and European Tiger


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Scan_Pic0030.jpg



-- Edited by Leela25 on Wednesday 7th of January 2015 04:01:22 AM

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that looks like a cross between the RAH-66 comanche and the tiger

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