• Recently, the Prime Minister handed over the indigenously-built Light Combat Helicopter (HAL’s LCH), two small drones (‘SWITCH 1.0 UAV’ and ‘MR-20) built by Indian start-ups to the Air Force.
  • LCH is a truly ‘Make in India’ product built with private industry participation.

Important points:

  • LCH is a new addition to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL’s) helicopter division. This twin-engine helicopter is a dedicated combat helicopter of 5 to 8-tonne class.
  • The LCH incorporates advanced technologies and stealth features for effective combat roles and is designed to carry out roles such as destruction of enemy air defence, counterinsurgency, search and rescue, anti-tank, Counter Surface Force Operations etc.
  • The LCH is the only attack helicopter in the world that can land and take off at an altitude of 5,000 m with a considerable load of weapons and fuel.
  • It is effective even in temperatures ranging from minus 50 degrees Celsius on snow peaks to 50 degrees Celsius in the desert.
  • LCH will eventually be deployed along the Line of Actual Control with China, in addition to the AH-64E Apache helicopters in service.

‘SWITCH 1.0 UAV’ and ‘MR-20:

  • SWITCH 1.0 UAV, with its peerless capabilities of 1.5 hours flight time and 15 kms range at more than 4500 m take-off altitude.
  • It has an endurance of approximately 90 minutes and will support the Indian Army’s most demanding surveillance operations under harsh environments and high altitudes for day and night surveillance across India’s borders.
  • The MR-20 hexacopter drones have a capacity to ferry loads of up to 20kg.
  • It will be used to ferry food, essential items, emergency medical aid, ammunition and weapons to troops deployed at heights in forwarding areas.


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