The light combat helicopter (LCH) was designed and built indigenously by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
It is a two-seaterattack helicopter derived from the existing Dhruv helicopter.
The twin-engine LCHis a 5-8 tonne class dedicated combat helicopter. It was conceptualised after the 1999 Kargil conflict when the need for such a dedicated platform capable of operating in high altitudes was felt.
It is the only attack helicopter in the world which can land and take-off at an altitude of 5,000 m (16,400 ft) with considerable load of weaponsand fuel significantly augmenting the firepower of the IAF and the Army in high altitude areas.
The LCH can be deployed in various roles, including tracking slow-moving aerial targets, insurgency, destroying enemy defences, search and rescue, anti-tank and scouting.
The LCH is effective as both an anti-infantry and anti-armour helicopter.
It is thelightest attack helicopter in the world to meet the specific and unique requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.
According to HAL, the LCH is a potent weapon platform with state of the art systems and highly accurate weapons capable of hitting any type of target by day or night.
Other features of the LCH include its ability to operate in the complete ‘Area of Responsibility’ (AOR) and altitudes and has the ability to carry adequate weapon load at high altitudes under varied conditions.
The LCH is armed with a 20 mm nose gun, 70 mm rockets, anti-tank guided missile ‘Dhruvastra’ and air-to-air missile ‘Mistral-2’ of MBDAwhich has a maximum interception range of 6.5 km.