New Delhi: India has successfully test-flown the second prototype of its indigenously developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). The rotorcraft, according to HAL officials, is a ''considerable improvement'' over the first prototype.
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) chairman and managing director, Ashok Nayak said in an interview that the second rotorcraft was a "considerable improvement" over the first prototype as HAL and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists were able to achieve substantial weight reductions.
He also said that "…the human and weapons payload capacity of the rotorcraft had already exceeded the parameters mandated by the Indian Air Force (IAF)."
A derivative of the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, the LCH has been re-designed and reconfigured from the beginning to operate at Himalayan heights of 20,000 feet.
The chopper carries a crew of two - one of which is a weapons operator. The helicopter is powered by the same Shakti engine that is used by the ALH.
The first prototype was first flown last year. By now the combined flying hours of prototypes 1 and 2 has reached 76.