114 light combat choppers to thwart any Chinese mischief

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by sathya, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. sathya

    sathya Regular Member

    Aug 23, 2009
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    The Indian Army does not want a 1962 repeat. It has decided to strengthen its aerial surveillance capability by inducting at least 114 Light Combat Helicopters (LCH).China has steadily increased its military presence along its border with India over the past couple of months. In the first week of November, there were reports that the army would recruit 100,000 soldiers over the next five years and four new divisions would be raised along the Indo-Sino border. Also, the defence ministry has okayed a modernisation plan worth thousands of crores.

    Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has designed the LCH; and one of the helicopters went on a maiden flight in March last year. The army believes a strong fleet of combat copters would force the dragon to think twice before it gets into a confrontation.

    Traditionally, the Indian Air Force has had combat copters, but the army has decided to give more firepower to its Aviation Corps. Top ranking helicopter pilots have already been deputed to oversee the project, a senior officer said.

    “We would be better equipped to meet the challenges on the eastern front once we have these 114 LCHs,” he said. “We all know that China has increased its military strength substantially in the border areas.” The LCHs will have anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM).

    Apart from raising four new divisions, the army has planned to deploy two independent armoured brigades in Uttarakhand and Ladakh. The cabinet committee on security will have to approve the proposal.

    All is not quiet on the western front: The army does not want to take any chances with Pakistan on its western border. Every few days, some Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives are arrested. Often during interrogations, they reveal that they have been trained in Pakistan.


    So, the army has decided to deploy air-to-air and anti-tank missiles in the western sector, another officer said. Advance Light Helicopters (ALH), known as Rudra, has been fitted with 20mm turret guns, 70mm rockets and ATGMs; the induction of these copters is in the final stages, he said. Though he refused to detail the timeframe, he said, “Rudra will enable field commanders to go on the offensive at critical times anywhere in the battlefield.”

    The army now has 250 helicopters. It wants to induct 197
    Light Observation Helicopters to replace its ageing “Cheetahs” and “Chetaks” — at present these serve as observation copters.

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