The focus is on developing the medium-lift category Indian Multi Role Helicopter (IMRH) to replace the fleets of the Indian Air Force’s workhorse Mi-17 and other helicopters, which will start to phase out over the next ten years. This is because the Indian Air Force has recently introduced the indigenous multi-role Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), Prachand.
According to a defence ministry release, Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh previously inducted the rotorcraft at the air force’s Jodhpur facility and called it ‘Prachanda’.
Mission & Strength
The Prachanda’s missions include combat search and rescue, enemy air defence destruction, counterinsurgency, and “high altitude bunker breaching.” Furthermore, the Prachanda is intended to be used against both unmanned aerial vehicles and slow-moving aircraft.
The helicopter is perfectly capable of operating in top hill areas like Siachin, the world’s highest battleground, its cutting-edge stealth abilities, durable armour protection, and strong night assault power.
The Helina ATGM, which can attack targets at distances ranging from 450 metres to seven kilometres aprox.
The Prachand has been designed with operations in clear weather in mind. Its ability to operate in low visibility caused by rain, fog, haze, or smoke is limited by the absence of radar. Notably, its air-to-air capabilities is likewise constrained to clear skies.
It has fixed protective plate on the sides and crash-worthy landing gear for enhanced survivability.
The LCH has a glass cockpit, a bearingless tail rotor, a twin-tandem cockpit, an electro-optical/infrared targeting pod, a 20mm gun in a chin turret, 70mm rockets, and MBDA Mistral anti-tank missiles. Examples of survival traits include ballistic defence and other defences intended to reduce its visual, acoustic, radar, and infrared footprints.
The helicopter has a top speed of 275 kilometres per hour. The helicopter has a combat radius of 500 kilometres and an operational ceiling of 17,000 to 19,000 feet, allowing it to engage in high-altitude warfare (5,500 meters).