India has deployed fighter jets, transport aircraft, and thousands of additional troops to the Ladakh region to counter movement by the People’s Liberation Army. The two Asian giants have failed to reach a consensus on disengagement in Pangong Tso and Depsang Valley after six rounds of military-level talks.
Boosting its air combat capability in the Ladakh region, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has deployed locally-developed armed helicopters carrying 70mm guns, unguided rockets, cluster bombs, and other weaponry.
“In light of the prevailing situation on the border, two Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) have been deployed for operations at high altitude (Leh sector) at short notice to support IAF missions”, the developer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited said on Wednesday.
The 5.5-tonne class LCH is capable of carrying four French-made Mistral air-to-air missiles on each wing that can intercept a target at a range of up to 6.5 kilometres.
HAL mentioned that the helicopter is operating in a high altitude location in a forward area, demonstrating its quick deployment prowess in extreme temperatures.
Terming it “the lightest attack helicopter in the world”, HAL chief R Madhavan underscored that it meets the specific and unique requirements of the Indian Armed Forces. The twin-engine LCH is not only lighter than the American AH-64E Apache attack helicopter but also comes at half the price, i.e. less than $35 million per unit.
The Indian Air Force has already deployed its Chinook and Apache attack helicopters to the region.
Source: Almasdarnews, August 12th, 2020