Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has successfully completed the hot weather flight trials of its light combat helicopter (LCH) at Jodhpur, India.

The week-long test of this indigenously designed and developed helicopter included temperature surveys of engine bay and hydraulic systems, assessment of performance, handling qualities and loads at different ‘all up weights’, low speed handling and height-velocity diagram establishment.

HAL chairman and managing director T Suvarana Raju said: "Test flights were carried out in the temperature range of 39 to 42 degree Celsius.

"These were done with the involvement of customer pilots from the Indian Air Force and Army in presence of representatives from RCMA and DGAQA."

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

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

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

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In addition, the helicopter features advanced technology supporting combat operations. Its narrow fuselage is equipped with tandem seating configuration for pilot and co-pilot / weapon system operator (WSO).

The LCH is p owered by two Shakti engines. It offers several stealth features including reduced visual, aural, radar and infra-red signatures and crashworthy landing gear, armour protection for enhanced survivability.

In February, Hal completed the cold weather flight testing of LCH at Leh.

The helicopter is expected to receive initial operational clearance and enter into series production by the end of this year.

Image: HAL’s new indigenously designed and developed light combat helicopter. Photo: courtesy of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).