Bangalore: India's first indigenously designed and developed combat helicopter took to the skies at the HAL airport in Bangalore marking its first official flight. The 10-minute flight display drew fulsome praise from assembled guests including senior air force personnel.
|The Light Combat Helicopter in flight. Image:HAL |
The display flight comes hot on the heels of the Indian Army confirming the superiority of the Arjun MBT over its much hyped foreign counterparts and provides a great boost for all indigenous defence development efforts.
The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) has been made ready by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) from conception to design and a functional model in a record 40-month period. Of course, the development process has been helped immensely by the fact that it is a derivative of the immensely successful Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter.
It is expected that the helicopter will be ready for induction in the armed forces by 2014.
|Model of the Light Combat Helicopter|
The project was initiated in 2006.
Amongst the luminaries attending the event were the IAF vice chief, Air Marshal PK Barbora, and defence production secretary RK Singh. In the 10-minute flight display the 5.8-tonne chopper showcased its manoeuvrability and stability, and even carried out one of the most difficult moves that a helicopter can make –the reverse slide.