Two Light Combat Helicpoters (LCH) have been operating with the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Ladakh for a week, reports Livefist.
Flown in to Ladakh last weekend from Bengaluru, the indigenous combat choppers developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) have been doing armed patrol sorties between Leh and other airbases, including forward area in Ladakh.
According to the report, the deployment of the LCH came at the request of the IAF and is a huge show of faith in the indigenous combat chopper that will be inducted in both the IAF and Indian Army, with total orders likely to exceed 150.
On Friday (7 August), IAF’s Vice Chief Air Marshal Harjit Singh Arora flew in one of the two LCHs. The helicopter was flown by the Vice Air Chief from Thoise to Leh. He was accompanied by a HAL test pilot and took off from Thoise in full mission configuration.
A full in-flight demonstration of the helicopter’s handling in extreme conditions was also given to the Air Marshal.
The LCH crossed several passes during the flight including Khardung La and Chang La near Leh. The attack helicopter also carried out a simulated attack on a high altitude target.
It should be noted that the IAF had already deployed the Apache AH-64E attack helicopter in Ladakh amid the ongoing stand-off with Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at LAC.