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India Plans Bulk Procurement of Combat Choppers to Modernize Fleet

The Indian Army plans to procure a large number of combat and utility helicopters to modernize its fleet.

Chief of Army Staff Gen. Manoj Pande told local media Tuesday that the service wants to buy around 95 Prachand light combat helicopters (LCH) and 110 light utility helicopters (LUH).

The domestically-built LCHs feature modern stealth characteristics, robust armor protection, and formidable night attack capability.

They reportedly possess improved maneuverability in mountainous regions, making them suitable for deployment in high-altitude areas.

The Prachands will be fitted with the Helina missile, which has completed compatibility trials.

“Its integration on aircraft is something we believe is important for us to maximize the potential of anti-tank guided missiles,” Pande said, as quoted by NDTV.

Light Utility Choppers

The Indian Army is reportedly getting six limited-series versions of the LUH from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

The performance of the first six choppers will determine if the service will move forward with the acquisition of 110 LUHs.

Pande also revealed that if the plan is approved, the total number of LUHs to be procured could reach 250.

The general stated that Hindustan must work on the aircraft’s capability enhancements, particularly its autopilot feature.

Once in service, the LUHs will replace the country’s Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.

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