- Prachand can fire a variety of air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and can take out the enemy's air defences.
- Prachand can reach a top speed of 268 kilometres per hour and can take off with a maximum weight of 5.8 tonnes.
The Indian Army is planning to buy 95 Prachand Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) and 110 Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) to improve the image of its combat aviation wing (LUH). The decision to buy LCHs made in India was made to improve security at high altitudes, since the helicopter is easier to control in mountainous areas. Also, buying LUHs and LCHs will help the army replace its fleets of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters, which are getting old.
Earlier, on October 3, 2022, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was there when the Indian Air Force put four light combat helicopters into service at the Jodhpur air base.
What does Prachand mean?
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) designed, built, and tested the Prachand Light Combat Helicopter for more than a decade. As its name, Prachand, which means “fierce,” suggests, this multi-role attack helicopter has been modified to meet the needs of the Indian armed forces so that it can operate both in deserts and at high altitudes.
India built its own helicopter, which can be used for air defence, anti-tank missions at high altitude, fighting insurgencies, and search-and-rescue missions.
The plane’s maker says that it has advanced technology that can be used to destroy the enemy’s air defences.
Prachand is the only helicopter in the world that can land and take off with weapons and fuel from an altitude of 5,000 metres.
It is a twin-engine, dedicated helicopter that weighs 5.8 tonnes, so it is in the light category.
This is a two-seater helicopter with options for both a pilot and a co-pilot. It has also been made easier to use weapons in wartime.
Can perform in all weather conditions
Designed to be able to fight around the clock and in any weather, it will help the Army with Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), bunker-busting operations, counter-insurgency operations in the jungle and cities, and support for the ground forces.
Prachand can fire a variety of air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and can take out the enemy’s air defences.
The helicopter has a 20 mm nose gun in the front that can fire 800 rounds per minute and has a firing range of up to 2 km. It also has a 70 mm rocket pod on the stub wing that can fire directly up to 4 km or indirectly up to 8 km.
Also, there is an electro-optical pod on top of the Gun for long-range day and night surveillance and tracking of the target, an anti-tank guided missile called “Dhruvastra,” and an air-to-air missile called “Mistral-2,” which has a maximum range of 6.5 km for intercepting enemy aircraft.
Maximum speed and distance of the chopper
Prachand can reach a top speed of 268 kilometres per hour and can take off with a maximum weight of 5.8 tonnes.
It has a maximum range of 550 kilometres, which means it can go a maximum distance of 550 kilometres between takeoff and landing.
Even though the helicopter’s highest density altitude is 6.5 kilometres, it can fly for more than three hours.
It can go up to a service ceiling of 21,000 feet and has a combat radius of 500 km, which makes it perfect for operating in Siachen.