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India seeks additional Light Combat Helicopters

The Indian Air Force inducted the HAL Light Combat Helicopter into service on 3 October 2022. (Janes/Akhil Kadidal)

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a request for proposal (RFP) to procure 156 Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs), according to the manufacturer, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

HAL announced the RFP on 17 June as part of its regulatory disclosure to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). According to HAL, the MoD's RFP covers an acquisition of 90 LCHs for the Indian Army and 66 for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The potential procurement has a value of INR450–500 trillion (USD5.3–5.9 billion), a HAL source told Janes.

The LCH is in limited service with the IAF and the army. In 2016 India's Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the procurement of 15 LCHs (10 for IAF and five for Army Aviation Corps). Janes understands that all 15 helicopters are currently in service.

Powered by two 895 kW (1,200 shp) Safran Helicopter Engines/HAL TM333-2C2 Ardiden 1H1 turboshafts with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC), the LCH has a maximum payload capacity of 500 kg, an operational range of 550 km, and a maximum speed of 178 kt (330 km/h), according to the IAF. Janes previously reported that the aircraft is equipped with an electro-optic pod with charge-coupled device (CCD)/forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and Generation III night-vision goggles.

For more information on the aircraft, please seeHAL LCH.

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