03:28 GMT12 April 2021
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    The locally developed multi-role light combat helicopter is a major contender for India’s defense exports in the near future.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) India’s locally developed multi-role Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) is undergoing weapons integration, following successful completion of high-altitude trials earlier this year. The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has manufactured a small number of the attack helicopters to be fitted with rockets and anti-tank guided missiles, as they are designed for anti-infantry and anti-armor role in high altitudes. They have already undergone successful hot weather and cold weather trials.

    According to HAL sources, the third prototype of the LCH that is currently undergoing weapons integration has a sleek and narrow fuselage, tri-cycle crashworthy landing gear, crashworthy and self-sealing fuel tanks, armor protection, nuclear, and low visibility features which make the LCH lethal, agile and highly survivable.

    HAL plans to produce 5 helicopters this year and hopes that the successful integration of weapons would result in orders from the Indian armed forces that require at least 173 such choppers. The need for attack helicopters capable of operating in high altitude areas was acutely apparent during the Kargil war in 1999.

    Meanwhile, HAL sources say they have been receiving inquiries from other countries that are interested in purchasing the multi-role LCH. India is in talks with African nations for the possible export of the Light Combat Helicopter. India's Defense Ministry has set a target of $2 billion worth of exports over the next two years.

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    Tags:
    helicopter, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), India
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