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Indian Army raises its first Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) squadron

Source : Net 4 News

Indian Army raises its first Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) squadron
Indian Army Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) in Army Livery (File Photo: Twitter @Raghav_kidambi)



On June 1, 2022, the Army raised its first Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) squadron at Bangalore. “It will move to Eastern Command on completion next year,” the official stated adding that, in all, seven LCH units are planned, each having 10 helicopters for combat roles in the mountains.


The Army has three Aviation Brigades at Leh, Missamari and Jodhpur. It operates around 145 indigenous Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH), 75 of which are the Rudra weaponised variants. Another 25 DHRUV MK-III are on order and will be inducted within two years, another official said.

The Cabinet Committee had sanctioned the procurement of 39 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from the U.S. Following this, the IAF procured 22 Apaches under a deal signed in September 2015. The government has decided that any further Apache procurements would go to the Army. In line with this, India signed a deal for six more Apaches to cost around $800 million in February 2020. “There is a delay in the deliveries of these due to the COVID pandemic. They are now scheduled to begin deliveries in early 2024,” the first official said.

In August 2021, Army Aviation got control of the Army’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), which were earlier under the Artillery. The Army has over 30 Herons UAVs procured from Israel and a major upgrade plan for weaponization and facilitation of satellite communication for them at an estimated cost of over ₹6,000 crore has been delayed, officials said.

This is part of a comprehensive upgrade of all Israeli drones with the three Services that is in the works and estimated to cost ₹21,000 crore, officials stated.

In addition, with the deal for armed Predator drones from the U.S. stuck, the Army is looking at procuring long range Hermes 900 UAVs from Israel, which are manufactured in India by Adani Group.

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