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Light combat chopper shows prowess in IAF exercise

Posted on Feb 23, 03:43PM | IANS

Bangalore, Feb 23 : Indigenously built Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) has demonstrated its prowess in the 'Iron Fist' exercise of the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Pokhran in Rajasthan.

The prototype version of the state-run defence behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) was flown Friday by its chief test pilot Wing Commodore (retired) Unni Pillai and group captain (retired) Hari Nair at Jaisalmer in the desert state.

"It is an honour to have made an imprint in the biggest exercise of the air force with the multirole LCH demonstrating its capability to operate in all-weather conditions for target detection and acquisition," HAL chairman R.K. Tyagi said in a statement here Saturday on return from the IAF strike show.

President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister A.K. Antony and other dignitaries watched the awesome manoeuvers of the IAF's multiple platforms involving fighters, trainers, choppers and transport aircraft.

Fitted with advanced day and night sensors, including digital camera, forward looking infrared radiometer, laser designator and range finder, the combat variant of the company's advanced light helicopter (ALH) Dhruv is armed with an array of long-reach weapons.

"The copter's 20mm cannon with accuracy and high muzzle velocity are mounted on a chin turret and is slew able with either pilot's helmet mounted sighting system, giving the capability to look and fire at targets around it," Tyagi observed.

Designed, developed and produced for use in air defence against slow moving aerial targets by the air force and the army, the LCH is capable of high altitude warfare.