Nigeria to buy indigenous Light Combat Helicopters from DPSU HAL

As per an unconfirmed report, Nigeria will be the first country to buy unspecified numbers of indigenously built Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) ‘Prachand’ from the Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU) Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) through soft credit.

As of now, six officers from the Nigerian Army have already completed training on Dhruv helicopters at HAL’s Rotary Wing Academy.

As for India, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has already accepted four LCH helicopters.

Overall, IAF and the Indian Army require an estimated 160 LCHs in the coming years. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had cleared the first contract for 15 LCHs (10 IAF and 5 Army), at a cost of Rs 3,887 crore, along with infrastructure sanctions worth Rs 377 crore, in March last year.

DPSU Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd has produced eight of the 15 choppers till now, of which four have been inducted by IAF.

The need for LCHs for mountain warfare was first acutely felt during the 1999 Kargil conflict with Pakistan. It was initially proposed to meet IAF’s requirement of a dedicated light helicopter for combat operations.

Specifications of Light Combat Helicopter (LCH)

The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) has maximum possible commonality with ALH. It has a narrow fuselage has pilot and co-pilot/gunner in tandem configuration incorporating a number of stealth features, Armour protection, Night attack capability and crash worthy landing gear for better survivability. 

The major features of LCH are:

  • Glass Cockpit
  • Crashworthy bottom structure
  • Crashworthy fixed tricycle type with tail wheel landing gear
  • Canted flat panels for low Radar Cross Section
  • Integrated Dynamic System
  • Hinge less Main Rotor / Bearing less Tail Rotor
  • Anti-Resonance Isolation System
  • Integrated Architecture and Display System (IADS)
  • IR Suppressor
  • Counter Measuring Dispensing System (CMDS)
  • EO pod, Helmet Mounted Display System & EW suite
  • 20mm Gun, 70mm Rocket & Missiles
  • Air to Air Missiles (ATAM)
  • Air to Ground Missiles (ATGM)
Technical Parameters
  • MTOW                    : 5800 Kg
  • Max. speed             : 268 Kmph
  • Range                     : 550 Km
  • Service Ceiling         : 6.5 km
  • Oblique climb rate    : 12 m/s
Power Plant
  • SHAKTI engine (2 no.)
  • Power is 1032 kW

Image & Specification Source: