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India's Light Combat Helicopter takes to the skies news
24 May 2010

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.

Model of the Light Combat Helicopter
It is expected that the helicopter will be ready for induction in the armed forces by 2014.

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.

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India's Light Combat Helicopter takes to the skies