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HAL designing Light Combat Helicopters for Army, IAF

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A replica of Light Combat Helicopter being designed by HAL.

NEW DELHI (BNS): After equipping Indian Army and Air Force with the Advance Light Helicopters (ALHs), Indian aerospace firm Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is now designing and developing Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) for the armed forces.

HAL has so far delivered 22 ALHs (Dhruv) to IAF and another 40 to Army. It aims to supply another 159 ALHs to the two forces by 2009-2016. The contract in this regard was signed in December 2007.

The company has received over Rs 6,000 crores from Army and IAF against the delivery of helicopters and for developing the LCHs, Light Utility Helicopters and weaponization of ALHs, Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju told Lok Sabha in a written reply on Monday.

The Light Combat Helicopter is an attack helicopter based on the Dhruv platform. It is being designed to fit into an anti-infantry and anti-armour role and will have the capability to operate at high altitudes.

The chopper will be fitted with Shakti engine developed by HAL, in association with French company Turbomeca.

Besides, the LCH would be equipped with helmet-mounted targeting systems, electronic warfare and advanced weapons systems. It will also have a number of stealth features.

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