Thursday, August 20, 2020

Why Has India Opted For Indigenous LCH Helicopters Over AH-64E Apache To Fight China?

Developed by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), IAF has ordered 30 more LCH. “It is the lightest attack helicopter in the world, designed and developed by HAL to meet the specific and unique requirements of the Indian Armed Forces, reflecting the crucial role of HAL in Atmanirbhar Bharat,” said R Madhavan, Cheif of Media Communications, HAL.
“LCH is a potent weapon platform because of its state-of-the-art systems and highly accurate weapons that are capable of hitting any type of target by day or night,” said a HAL press release.
“The other features of LCH include its ability to operate in the complete ‘Area of Responsibility’ (AOR) and altitudes. It has the capability to carry adequate weapon load at high altitudes under varied conditions. All these characteristics make it most suitable for hot and high altitude operations.”
Meanwhile, India also possesses another attack helicopter: the U.S. AH-64E Apache which is considered the most advanced and deadly attack helicopter in the world. As part of a 2015 deal worth $3 billion, India recently received 22 Apaches along with 17 CH-47 Chinook helicopters from the US.
Apache has Hellfire anti-tank missiles and Longbow fire control radar. The Indian AH-64E Guardian version features a more powerful engine, better data networking, and improved composite rotor blades. Compared to the LCH, the Apache is faster, has more engine power, and carries far more weapons, though the LCH has a longer range.
However, the IAF has chosen LCH over Apache due to its ability to perform at high altitudes, which can be a challenge for rotary-wing aircraft. The Ladakh region in the Himalayas, where India and China are engaged in a military standoff, has an altitude between 10,000 – 18,000 feet.
LCH has proven its might in 2015 when several test landings were conducted on the Siachen glacier in Ladakh, at altitudes up to 15,800 feet while carrying a modest 500-kilogram load. While the AH-64E can fly up to 20,000 feet, experts have argued that the LCH is more suitable for the Himalayas.
19/08/20 EurAsian Times
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