India’s aerospace industry crossed a valuable milestone with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) having successfully designed and manufactured the first advanced fighter chopper, catergorised as Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) for the use of Indian Air Force and Indian Army.
Proving to be self reliant, India now joins the elite club of a few advanced countries in the world that have this type of bigger dedicated attack helicopters.
On 23 May 2010, the dignitaries from the Defence Establishment and employees of HAL watched the 20 minutes inaugural flight of the black sleek chopper of class 5.5 tonne, at the high security HAL airstrip.
(Rtd) Wing Commander Unni Pillai and (Rtd) Group Capatin Hari Nair put the LCH to its first test, taking off to 50 feet.
Later dedicating the aircraft to the nation, Vice Chief Air Marshal P.K.Barbora of Indian Air Force said, “It is a red letter day for not only Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) but for the whole nation. I’m quite positive that the aircraft will meet all Indian Air Forces requirements in this class of helicopters. The first flight was superb”.
HAL’s Chairman & Managing Director Ashok Nayak explained that the multiple roles of the of the LCH would be * Attacking slow moving serial targets *of enemy aircraft defence operations & * Offensive employment in urban warfare counter surface force operations.
A.K.Anthony- Minister of Defence, Pallam Raju -Minister of State for Defence and Chief Air Marshal P.V. Naik refrained from attending the launching ceremony, as a mark of respect for the 158 passengers, who perished in the recent aviation disaster in Mangalore.____________