Friday, February 08, 2013

Up Close With India's Light Combat Helicopter (Prototype 2)

Scoped out the 2nd prototype of the Light Combat Helicopter today on the flightline at Aero India. The third prototype of the LCH joins flight test very shortly, and promises to be the final shape and configuration of the helicopter. The LCH programme is speeding along well. More details about current tests soon.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Whether this is same as rudra..if I am not mistaken

Anonymous said...

Looks beautiful yet deadly. Cant wait to see this beauty fly and take out all who oppose or conspire against us. And this is one of the fastest developed armed helicopter in the whole world.

Anonymous said...

friggin beauty...

Sarab aka Mirza said...

Cockpit is too expose for COIN and close in support.
May be later day we could see more refurbish Cockpit with some small window and Armour.

Tako Nada said...

Star gunship.....sleek but deadly...

soorya narayan said...

this is different from rudra..in rudra both pilots sit side by side like in dhruv . but in LCH the 2nd pilot sits behind the first pilot in a higher position like in 2 seater fighter jets

Anonymous said...

No...this is not the rudra...rudra is the weaponized version of ALH...lch is a dedicated attack helicopter

Anonymous said...

What a beast of war. Need to order lots of these to support forward troops.
I like the commonality with Dhruv/Rudra. It will keep costs down and availability high.
Have to admit that Dhruv-->Rudra-->LCH is a MASTERSTROKE in decision making. Keep it up guys.

Anonymous said...

Looks something similaer like the Cobra from US which was made from Hue in Vietnam conflict. Seems the DRDO is going the same way will have to wait and watch.

parthvader89 said...

I applaud the effort but there are inherent weaknesses in the design that will never make it fit for an attack helicopter role.

1. The whole airframe is a bit long considering the rotor diameter. Not enough stress to decrease footprint so it can hide in the wild. But I guess it can still be worked with.


2. Tail section is ALL WRONG! You will see that ALL attack helicopters have a low tail with the bottom line profile being almost flat from front to aback. This is why LCH's rear landing gear is awkwardly long and hanging. If that thing were flying a Nap of the Earth mission then the thing would catch and take the whole chopper with it.

3. Front landing gear tyres need to be bigger.

I'd say review the program by fixing these or just buy and manufacture 200+ Apaches under license.

Anonymous said...

The adage is slow and steady wins the race but hope they do not crawl in any case a very good achievement keep it up

Anonymous said...

beautiful pics of a lovely chopper

Gessler said...

To PARTHVADER89:

2) Believe it or not, the high-tail concept suits LCH better. The flight computer of the LCH knows the dimensions of the bird and it knows where to fly and where not to, and it warns the pilot accordingly, And besides, the pilot knows his machine and where and how to fly and maneuver it.

Wheather its a low boom or high boom, the overall dimensions of the copter does not change, and at very low altitudes, ANY chopper is threatended by obstructions, even Apache.

3) The size of landing gear depends on how much weigh they need to support. LCH is very light, therefore the wheels and support structures are adequate for its weight and needs. Atleast give HAL some respect! They aren't the dumbos that don't know how much weight a wheel needs to support.

Regards

Anonymous said...

The only sensor I can see is a FLIR/CCD on the nose Apache has like 4 of them. It also lacks a mounted radar on top. Which missiles system will it use?

Ram said...

Great effort. Sexy beauty. I guess cockpit would be further developed.

sents said...

I cannot wait to see the day LCH, Rudra, LCA Tejas with Kaveri engine, performing daily sorties in the Indian Air Force.

Mridul baruah said...

@ Sents...Kaveri wont be used in Helicopters...as far as LCA is concerned...DRDO has already dropped the idea...so it will be better if you stop waiting.

Anonymous said...

To PARTHVADER89,
As far as I know the designs are made with the help of super computers, analysis are also done. They are not for ramp show.
Don't judge a machine by its apearance.

Anonymous said...

LCH cannot carry 16 anti tank missiles and is thus not in league of any other attack helicopter in the world and is just a dedicated version of rudra attack copter

Anonymous said...

LCH overall design looks great but weapon payload capacity is low :-( just 4 missiles and unguided rocket pods.It should have been at least 8 missiles and two rocket pods.May suffice high altitude requirements only.

Navin choudhary said...

If you have all the required knowledge then make a chopper your selves.

Navin choudhary said...

If you have all the required knowledge then make a chopper your selves.

nikdash said...

Why only three prototypes ...We should have built 10 prototypes and accelerated development. This machine is a good export prospect to other countries.
Overall great going, now need to hit the turbo boost button !

parthvader89 said...

Anon@12:17

Patronising reply. Come back with actual arguments. Supercomputers do not design an airframe for you, they can simulate fluid flows (in this case aerodynamics), vibrations, structural forces and that's about it.

@Gessler:

While I can somewhat digest that the landing is small because of a lighter helicopter, you still can't justify SUCH a low ground clearance. The flight computer cannot detect shrubs and outgrowths coming out of the ground. Please look at the kind of missions and environments attack helicopters operate in, you will see that LCH is utterly unsuitable.

In my view, this seems to be a helicopter made for IAF specifications and not for NOE flying that the Army needs.

As for high tail concept, I think it's because the objective of this project was more about making the most of the Dhruv (High tail utitlity helicopter) parts rather than making a dedicated platform from scratch.

Anonymous said...

Gessler,

The whole point of having an attack helicopter is flying dangerously low evading detection and then suddenly swooping up and launching you missiles. If the LCH and it's pilot 'know not to fly low' then the purpose is lost. Might as well load a fighter plane with the necessary ATGMs don't you think?

And we can just forget about our troops reloading this guy after it has expended its puny load of 4 ATGMs since it can't land anywhere inhospitable.

Anonymous said...

Shiv either you don't know anything about thing about defense or you don't give a damn to answer questions on your blog

Gessler said...

To PARTHVADER89

Sir, the present design of LCH is exclusively for the Air Force. The Army has not yet expressed the interest to really buy 114 of these birds. the only confirmed order is for 64 units for IAF.

For Army, a heavier version of LCH with better armor, and the capacity to carry a maximum of 16 ATGMs is needed. HAL has not envisaged any steps in this direction thus far.

The IAF wants LCH to hunt down UAV/UCAVs and other slow-moving aircraft like enemy helos etc. Anti-armor and anti-infantry ops are secondary priority. For this requirement, we don't need a terrain-hugging helo, we need one with good high-altitude performance, thats exactly what LCH offers, with a suite of Mistral ATAMs.

For the type of roles LCH (in its present form) is meant to perform, the design is more than adequate.

The design suggestions you made are good, but only when and if HAL actually starts building a LAH variant of LCH for Army Aviation Corps.

parthvader89 said...

To Gessler,

Exactly! This is basically not a dedicated attack helicopter that can be a game changer in conflict. This is an IAF centric bird meant for a very narrow spectrum of roles.

Any info on this LAH version that you are talking about? I also read on Ajai Shukla;s blog somewhere that the 22 AH64D Longbows might be going to the Army after all, which if true is a welcome development and could change the shape of the battlefield. I would be very interested in the development of an indigenous LAH as you claim. It would save a heck of lot of FOREX being spent on Apaches, boost domestic industry and give Indian Army some much needed teeth.

Regards,

Parthvader89

dev said...

nice photo sir......good camouflage technique by Indian air force.