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Prachand's 'Fierce' Force to Power Indian Army in Himalayas

© AP Photo / Aijaz RahiIndia's indigenous light combat helicopter Prachand performs aerobatic maneuvers during the inauguration of the Aero India 2023 at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru, India, Monday, Feb. 13, 2023.
India's indigenous light combat helicopter Prachand performs aerobatic maneuvers during the inauguration of the Aero India 2023 at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru, India, Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 18.06.2024
The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will supply 156 Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) called Prachand, to the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF). The deal was announced on Monday.
The addition of newly-ordered LCH Prachand choppers is set to give a massive boost to the Indian Army's intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions in addition to providing the country's ground forces an effective weapons platform to destroy enemy armor, especially in harsh terrain like the Himalayas in the state's north. This was told to Sputnik India by a military pundit.
According to Lt. Colonel (Retd) JS Sodhi, the induction of LCH Prachand in the Indian defence forces will increase its combat prowess manifold.
For example, during the war, it will provide close air support for the ground troops and will be highly effective in destroying enemy line, he explained.

"Also, these attack helicopters will provide armed escort to transport helicopters and to light helicopters on reconnaissance and surveillance missions," Sodhi told Sputnik India on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, these vehicles play a critical and crucial role during wartime operations, the former officer highlighted.
He further noted that their addition to the army's inventory will not only increase its ability to operate in the higher reaches of the Himalayas but also its morale as the deployment of air gunships has awe and shock action – Prachand is the world's only attack helicopter capable of operating at altitudes of 5,000 meters and above.
This helps the Indian military forces to send vital supplies to troops stationed at the Siachen glacier, widely regarded as the highest battlefield on the planet.
In addition to that, LCA Prachand has been successful in weathering the high wind speeds blowing in and around Ladakh, making it an important component in the military scheme of things there. As it is equipped with air-to-surface and air-to-air missiles, and has a range of 500 km for operations, it offers an edge to the IAF, particularly in close combat.

Homegrown LCH to Replace Foreign-Made Helicopters in Indian Defence Forces

The Indian Ministry of Defence's (MoD) $5.4 billion order for the procurement of 156 Prachand helicopters is all the more significant because of the heavy reliance of the Indian Armed Forces on US-made helicopters to operate in the mountainous regions in its north.
According to Sodhi, given the Indian thrust on indigenous military platforms, Prachand will gradually supplant American helicopters like the Apache and Chinooks.

"As the production of LCH Prachand will gain steam, eventually they will replace the foreign-made attack helicopters that are currently part of the Indian Army inventory as India under Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India initiatives wants to be self-reliant in the defence sector," the analyst stressed.

Additionally, strong Military Industrial Complex is a big indicator of a nation's combat potential and the induction of the indigenously made LCH Prachand further showcases the strides India has made towards a robust Military Industrial Complex," Sodhi concluded.
ndian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh sits inside India's first indigenously developed light combat helicopter named Prachand during its induction ceremony in Jodhpur, India, Monday, Oct.3, 2022. - Sputnik India, 1920, 18.04.2024
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