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India’s Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has successfully performed the hot and the high-altitude trials of its attack chopper light combat helicopter (LCH) at Leh, a high-desert city in the Himalayas.

HAL carried out the trials of this indigenously designed and developed helicopter at temperatures ranging from 13 to 27°C.

HAL CMD T. Suvarna Raju said: "The flight trials at Leh have established hover performance and low-speed handling characteristics of the helicopter under extreme weather conditions at different altitudes (3200 to 4800m).

"During the trials, the helicopter and systems performed satisfactorily.

"LCH also has proven its capability to land and take off at Forward Landing Base in Siachen."

Conducted on the third prototype of LCH (TD3), the testing involved user pilots from the Air Force, Army and representatives from CEMILAC and DGAQA, the company stated.

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The test included assessment and validation of flight envelope in ‘hot-and-high’ conditions, culminating in landing at forward bases at geographic elevations of 13,600ft to 15,800ft.

"LCH also has proven its capability to land and take off at Forward Landing Base in Siachen."

The new twin-engine LCH is a dedicated combat helicopter of 5.8t class intended for Indian Defence Forces.

It will be capable of conducting combat roles such as air defence, anti-tank, scout and support combat and search-and-rescue missions.

Powered by two Shakti engines, the helicopter offers several stealth features including reduced visual, aural, radar and infra-red signatures and crashworthy landing gear, armour protection for enhanced survivability.

In June, HAL completed the hot weather flight trials of LCH at Jodhpur, India, following a cold weather flight testing at Leh in February.

Image: HAL’s attack chopper light combat helicopter. Photo: courtesy of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.