Prachand: India’s stride to its self-reliance quest
The fleet of four indigenous Light Combat Helicopters (LCH), capable of wrecking adversaries’ air defence, conducting counter-insurgency strikes and much more, was officially inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Jodhpur air base on Monday. The historic induction ceremony of the Light Combat Helicopter, called ‘Prachand’, was held in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Air Chief Marshal, V.R. Chaudhari and other senior military officials.
Indigenously manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, ‘Prachand’ claimed to be the only attack helicopter in the world which can land and take off at an altitude of 5,000 meters with a considerable load of weapons and fuel, meeting the specific requirements laid out by the Indian Armed Forces. ‘Prachand’ is the testimony of India’s quest to make India aatmanirbhar. In the words of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, ‘It is a momentous occasion reflecting India’s capability in defence production.’
Meanwhile, Gp. Capt. UK Devnath (Retd.) told The Quotes that the induction of LCH’ Prachand’ will allow our Commanders to dominate the battlefield from Air. “The enemy activity will be detected and neutralized effectively. This will deny the enemy manoeuvring opportunities on the battlefield for his forces,” he said.
As we look into some of its unique features and how lethal it will be for our adversaries, we see some truly state-of-the-art technologies and systems compatible with stealth features such as reduced visual, aural, radar and infrared signatures and crash-worthiness features for better survivability have been integrated into the LCH, the officer added.
“Prachand’s indigenous content will improve to 70% in the next few years. This will allow our industries and entrepreneurs to participate in nation-building. Also, the experience gained in designing and manufacturing LCH will be a stepping stone for India to embark upon the path towards developing the next generation Heavy Combat Helicopter within a decade or so,” Gp. Capt. Devnath (Retd.) concluded.
While speaking exclusively to The Quotes, Gp. Capt. Johnson Chacko (Retd.), the former IAF fighter pilot, stressed upon the significance of developing the helicopter indigenously stating that the design of the LCH and IPR is ours, and we can mount any arsenal without seeking any foreign permissions, source code, etc.
“For the amount spent on GTRE, we could have provided imported engines for 40+ LCAs. The amount spent on developing the Kaveri engine could have funded the engines for the first 40 LCAs. Foreign countries’ defence production doesn’t develop such platforms, as they don’t have the diversity of the Indian terrain. Integration of indigenous NavIC-based navigation and targeting systems enhances it further. It’s better than GPS, and the Americans can’t turn it off as they did in Kargil,” informed Gp. Capt. Chacko (Retd.).
IAF Wing Commander Amit Ranjan Giri (Retd.) highlights an important factor as he says that by embracing the baby (‘Prachand’), the Services is sending out the much-required positive feel to the industry. “The capability of our industry has never been questioned, but it required a hand-holding from the user. It’s reassuring that the Services are placing their faith in the DPSUs for their requirements. With the support and the faith which the Services have placed in the DPSUs off-late is tremendous and would help the fledgling industry to grow up to give the global giants stiff competition,” said Wg Cdr. Giri (Retd.).
In his view, Prachand is an attack helicopter along the lines of the erstwhile Hind and the latest Apache. “It has an operating envelope which surpasses it predecessor, the Hind, as well as a pretty impressive arsenal of weaponry for almost all roles it has been built. Together with the Apaches, it would be a great boon in war and war-like scenarios where the use of fixed-wing fighters is precluded due to terrain or circumstances,” officer concluded.
The article has been edited by Mr. Indraneel Chakrabarty (email address: email@example.com).
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