Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the induction of the Indian Air Force's Light Combat Helicopter is a special moment for the nation and is symbolic of the collective resolve of 130 crore Indians to make India strong and self-reliant in the defence sector.
Wishing every Indian upon LCH's induction into IAF's inventory, PM Modi wrote, "The induction of LCH 'Prachanda' is a special moment for the collective resolve of 130 crore Indians to make our nation strong and self-reliant in the defence sector. Congratulations to every Indian!"
The induction ceremony was held in Rajasthan's Jodhpur where newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Anil Chauhan was present along with the Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
PM Modi had been present in the Cabinet Committee on Security which cleared the purchase of 15 of these LCHs for the air force and the army. Of the 15 limited series production helicopters approved, 10 are for the IAF and five for the army. It can land and take off from an altitude of 5,000 metres with weapons and fuel, the officials said.
While speaking on occasion, Singh said that LCH will enhance our capability and boost defence production, proving India's commitment towards self-reliance in Defence production.
"There could not have been a better timing for LCH induction than Navratri and in the land of warriors, Rajasthan," Singh said, adding that the LCH is a result of research and development for two decades.
The new chopper that has been inducted into the force is capable of aerial combat and will help the force combat slow-moving aircraft, drones and armoured columns during conflicts. The induction ceremony will be led by Rajnath Singh who has played a crucial role in progressing cases for buying indigenous platforms for forces.
The light combat helicopter is a dedicated combat helicopter designed and developed indigenously in India. It has been manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
HAL Chairman and Managing Director CB Ananthakrishnan addressed the event and said, "This made-in-India LCH is state-of-the-art, one of the best combat flying machines in the world. LCH is the only attack helicopter in the world that can land &take off at an altitude of 5,000 metres." (ANI)