The Indian Air Force (IAF) will formally induct the indigenous Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) on 3 October. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and IAF Commander Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari are expected to attend the event at Jodhpur Air Force Station.
Indian-made LCH can carry out counter-insurgency operations and target enemy air defences, slow-moving aircraft, high-altitude bunkers, and enemy air defences.
In March, the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Rs 3,887 crore acquisition of 15 LCH from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the army and the air force.
Ten of the first 15 helicopters will go to the IAF and five to the Army. According to the officials, the helicopter can land and take off from a height of 5,000 metres while carrying fuel and weapons.
According to the Defence Ministry, LCH has an indigenous component of 45 per cent and will gradually rise to more than 55 per cent for the series production version. HAL anticipates additional orders of 160 LCHs from the IAF and Army.
LCH is included on the government's "positive indigenisation list," which aims to forbid the import of various kinds of weapons, systems, and ammunition over the next five to seven years in order to increase self-reliance in the defence sector. The government has banned the import of 310 defence-related equipment and systems over the past two years.
The ministry had stated that the LCH will decrease India's reliance on imported combat helicopters and India also eyes exporting these helicopters.